Since reports of the Bolshoi Theatre's director, Sergei Filin being attacked with a strong acid that gave him 3rd degree burns and possible blindness, his colleagues and competition have spoken out about the possible motivations for such an attack.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, and of communism, many ex-Soviet states have found it difficult to re-adjust to the new way of life. Capitalism has opened doors for intense and violent fiscal disputes, as well as a very sharp class divide between the very wealthy and the very poor. The divisions don't begin and end with money, but also between attitudes to life, work and art, a divide, which is largely defined by the new and old systems of working. The attack on Mr Filin, in many respects, is thought to be a response to some of these divides.
Yuri Grigorovich, the Soviet stalwart, ruled the Bolshoi for 30 years with an iron fist. As the Telegraph says, his dancers lived in constant fear of being sacked and he refused the new, finally being ousted himself in 1995 having refused to update the theatre. A couple of others took over, but Filin took up the post in 2011 after a major reconstruction of the theatre's building.
Since then, as a spokesperson for the Bolshoi said: "Sergei was constantly receiving threats after he took up this post, but we never thought that this war for roles, not real estate or oil, could reach such a criminal level." And the current general director of the Bolshoi said that he was "100% certain that [the attack] is linked to his work."
Alexei Ratmansky, the Bolshoi's former artistic director, described the attack as "one snowball caused by the lack of any ethics at the theatre." Nikolai Tsiskaridze is one of Grigorovich's greatest fans, one of the most famous dancers at the Bolshoi, and desperately wants Filin's job to take the theatre back to the old days. He has been described as a trouble maker and has even contacted Vladimir Putin to attempt to have Filin sacked.
Another dancer, Anastasia Volochkova, said it well: "That conflicts are decided in this way at the Bolshoi - all this lawlessness, corruption and anti-humanity - it's the sign of the end."
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