Thu, Mar 07, 2013 - Page 7 News List

Trio confess to Bolshoi acid attack

POISONOUS ATMOSPHERE:A soloist who recently played Ivan the Terrible, as well as two alleged helpers, reportedly confessed to the attack on the company’s artistic director

AFP, MOSCOW

A still image released by the press service of the Russian Interior Ministry yesterday shows ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko after his arrest in Moscow. Dmitrichenko has confessed to plotting an acid attack that nearly blinded the Bolshoi’s artistic director, police said.

Photo: Reuters

A leading Bolshoi Ballet soloist and two other detained suspects have confessed to their involvement in the acid attack on Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the world famous dance company, Moscow police said yesterday.

One of the company’s leading male dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, the suspected mastermind of the attack, signed a written confession along with the other suspects, who had all been arrested on Tuesday.

The police did not disclose the nature of the confessions, but said Dmitrichenko was the mastermind of the attack, accomplice Yury Zarutsky was the assailant who flung acid into Filin’s face and Andrei Lipatov was the driver at the scene.

The attack on Filin in January left the former Bolshoi star dancer-turned-artistic director fighting for his eyesight and risking permanent facial disfigurement. It also blew apart the refined veneer of the Bolshoi Ballet, exposing bitter infighting and long-held grudges between its managers and dancers.

Dmitrichenko is not one of the half-dozen top male dancers at the company known as premiers, but he is a leading soloist, a rank just one level down.

He won some prominence this year by taking the title role in the revival of Yuri Grigorovich’s Soviet-era ballet Ivan the Terrible to music by Prokofiev about the brutal medieval ruler’s iron grip over Russia.

According to the Bolshoi Web site, he was due to dance on March 16 in Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Sleeping Beauty, albeit in the ironically innocent-sounding role of the Blue Bird.

Russian media have also pointed to a link with his girlfriend Anzhelina Vorontsova, a young ballerina at the theater, who had been involved in conflicts with Filin over the allocation of roles.

The Bolshoi’s managing director Anatoly Iksanov had blamed star dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze over the attack, saying he had created the poisonous atmosphere that led to the assault.

Tsiskaridze denied the claims and in a bitter public row lambasted Iksanov’s management of the theater.

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