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Bolshoi dancer confesses to acid attack on dance company’s director

By Agence France-Presse
Wednesday, March 6, 2013 7:25 EDT
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Bolshoi dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two other detained suspects have confessed to an acid attack on artistic director Sergei Filin, police said Wednesday.  File photo via AFP.
 
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A leading Bolshoi Ballet soloist and two other detained suspects have confessed to their involvement in the acid attack on the artistic director of world famous dance company Sergei Filin, Moscow police said Wednesday.

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 the assailant who flung acid into Filin’s face and Andrei Lipatov the driver at the scene.

“At the current time all three have signed confessions and have been placed under arrest,” the police said.

“The necessary investigative work is being undertaken to establish all the circumstances of the crime,” the police added.

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 very 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 mediaeval ruler’s iron grip over Russia.

According to the Bolshoi website, 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 theatre, 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 theatre.

Filin, who spent about two weeks in a Moscow hospital undergoing a series of operations on his eyes, has since been moved to Germany for rehabilitation treatment that may take months.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]

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