- Title: RUSSIA/FILE-: Russia's Bolshoi ballet director almost blind despite operations
- Date: 20th June 2013
- Summary: MOSCOW, RUSSIA (FILE) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF LEADING SOLOIST PAVEL DMITRICHENKO, ACCUSED OF ATTACKING FILIN, WEARING RED CAPE AND HOLDING SWORD WHILE DANCING IN ROMEO AND JULIET BALLET PREMIERE
- Embargoed: 5th July 2013 13:00
- Location: Russian Federation
- Country: Russia
- Topics: Crime,Arts
- Reuters ID: LVAE0G64782TWZMXCW5KGA4RIW69
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: The artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Theatre ballet who was burned in an acid attack allegedly masterminded by a rival dancer is almost completely blind despite 18 operations to save his sight, a theatre spokeswoman said on Thursday (June 20).
The attack on Sergei Filin, which exposed deep rivalries over roles, power and pay at the theatre, shocked Russians with its brutality and has cast a long shadow over Russia's premier cultural symbol, from which it is still struggling to escape.
At a news conference on Thursday dedicated to the 2013-2014 season programme, Filin's absence was palpable as he prepared to undergo what Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova said would be his 19th operation at a clinic in Germany to save his eyesight.
"Sergei Filin stays in touch, I think you talk on the phone every day, right?" Novikova said addressing to Galina Stepanenko, Bolshoi acting artistic director.
" We can not give any prognosis at the moment. I talked to the German hospital where he is staying myself yesterday. The doctors don't want to discuss anything publicly now, because they believe that the most important thing is to concentrate on the health of Sergei, and because they are German doctors they don't want to make any prognosis. They just want to do everything possible to save Sergei's eyesight. I talked to him three days ago, he told me that the situation was as follows: he can not see anything with one eye, and can see 10 per cent with another eye," said Novikova, who refused to comment on the chances of doctors restoring his eyesight.
Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko, who made his name on the Bolshoi stage playing villains in Swan Lake and Ivan the Terrible, confessed to masterminding the attack on Filin that left him writhing in pain in the snow outside of his Moscow apartment building.
In court he said Filin had saved the best roles and salary boosting grants for his own favourites, pushing out those opposed to his attempts to modernise traditional Russian ballet.
Ballet management refused to talk about the ouster of top ballet dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze, once a fierce critic of Filin, whose contract is not being renewed at the end of this month for reasons the Bolshoi has not yet explained.
He says he is being "hounded" out of the theatre following suggestions from General Manager Anatoly Iksanov that he could have stood behind the attack.
Over a hundred ballet fans gathered last week across from the columned classically styled theatre, which traces its heritage back to the time of Catherine the Great.
- Copyright Holder: FILE REUTERS (CAN SELL)
- Copyright Notice: (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2013. Open For Restrictions - http://about.reuters.com/fulllegal.asp
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.