Skip to main content

What The Fondu? Bolshoi Ballet Director Attacked With Acid

Ballet isn’t a contact sport. In fact, everyone in a particular company is technically on the same team, working toward a goal of putting on one brilliant and harmonious show, but behind the scenes, the atmosphere is often anything but a brotherhood, at least if Moscow’s famed Bolshoi Ballet is any indication. Over the past decade or so, the theater group has seen its share of scandals involving dancers being fired over minor weight gains, email accounts being hacked and public petitions being generated to oust the company leaders. Unfortunately, all of that was trumped yesterday by one of the scariest incidents in ballet history.

According to The New York Times, Bolshoi Ballet director Sergei Filin was opening the gate to his property when a masked man crept up behind him, called his name and threw acid in his face. The forty-two-year-old was rushed to the hospital as quickly as possible, but with third degree burns on his face, doctors are worried his eyesight might be permanently damaged. In the coming days, he’s expected to be transported to either Germany or Israel to receive the most advanced medical care possible, but in the mean time, dancers are congregating outside his hotel room and wondering how the hell things got so out of control.

After Filin was named director of the company in 2011, he was widely criticized in some corners for naming David Hallberg, an American, as the company’s principal dancer. That decision, coupled with the normal choosing of leading roles, reportedly generated plenty of cattiness and resentment among some dancers, but as for who may have taken it this far, police have no idea at this juncture, though they do think the attack was work-related.

Pop Blend’s sincerest well-wishes go out to Filin as he recovers. Here’s to hoping he’s able to resume his duties sooner rather than later.

Mack Rawden

Enthusiastic about Clue, case-of-the-week mysteries, the NBA and cookies at Disney World. Less enthusiastic about the pricing structure of cable, loud noises and Tuesdays.