Acid Thrown In Face Of Bolshoi Ballet's Artistic Director; He May Lose Sight | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Acid Thrown In Face Of Bolshoi Ballet's Artistic Director; He May Lose Sight

A masked assailant threw acid into the face of the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director on Thursday in Moscow in what may have been a "reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company," The Associated Press reports.

Russia Today writes that 42-year-old Sergei Filin "may lose his sight." He "suffered severe burns of multiple degrees to his face and eyes," it adds. And, the news outlet reports that:

"It will take Filin at least six months to recover, Bolshoi spokesperson Ekaterina Novikova said. She added that Sergei Filin had received threats from anonymous callers before. 'We never imagined that a war for roles — not for real estate or for oil — could reach this level of crime,' Novikova said to Channel One.

"Bolshoi general director Anatoly Iksanov said he believed the attack was linked to Filin's work at the theater. 'He is a man of principle and never compromised," Iksanov said. 'If he believed that this or that dancer was not ready or was unable to perform this or that part, he would turn them down.' "

The Wall Street Journal writes that "Filin reportedly has been plagued by numerous intimidation tactics over the last few weeks, including tire slashing and Facebook hacking."

According to The Guardian, Filin's family and colleagues say the attack "capped weeks of threats and intimidation."

Filin, "a dancer who rose through the ranks of the world's largest ballet company to become its head," became the artistic director in 2011, The New York Times says. It writes that:

"Among his first big decisions was to hire David Hallberg as a principal dancer — the first American to hold that coveted status, which has traditionally gone to Russian-trained dancers. ...

"Mr. Filin's leadership has not stood out as especially controversial. But Anastasia Volochkova, a former Bolshoi ballerina, said his power to assign roles made him the focus of sometimes passionate resentment. ...

"'The head of the ballet decides everything: what grants each artists receive, or maybe won't receive. Who will dance certain roles, and who won't dance them,' [she said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy, a radio station]. ... 'The cruelty of the ballet world has become surprisingly pathological.' "

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

How'd A Cartoonist Sell His First Drawing? It Only Took 610 Tries

Tom Toro was a directionless 20-something film school dropout. Then, after an inspired moment at a used book sale, he started submitting drawings to The New Yorker ... and collecting rejection slips.
NPR

Will Environmentalists Fall For Faux Fish Made From Plants?

A handful of chefs and food companies are experimenting with fish-like alternatives to seafood. But the market is still a few steps behind plant-based products for meat and dairy.
WAMU 88.5

Plan To Offer Free Community College Divides Along Party Lines

In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama laid out a plan to offer two years of community college. But at least in Northern Virginia, support for the proposal seems split on partisan lines.

NPR

Sling TV Could Be Cable-Cutter's Dream

Sling TV launches in a few weeks. That's the new streaming service from Dish that allows viewers to stream content previously only available through cable.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.