Accused dancer argued with Bolshoi director, demanded roles: witness

Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:30pm EST
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By Maria Tsvetkova

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A dancer accused of plotting an acid attack on the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director argued with the victim of his over his management style, saying he acted like a king, a Moscow court heard on Tuesday.

The poisonous backstage rivalries that may have led to the January 17 attack were illuminated in court as director Sergei Filin's assistant testified about the arguments at the trial of dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko and two co-defendants.

"He (Dmitrichenko) said ... 'Is this a kingdom now? Are you our king?'," Dilyara Timergazina told the court. "Filin was of course very angry."

Dmitrichenko, 29, who has denied any role in the attack on the 43-year-old Filin, argued with him over roles, she said, and objected to his plan to punish members of the ballet corps who did not attend morning classes by reducing their grant money.

"Dmitrichenko demanded principal roles," Timergazina said. "He also demanded the role of Odette-Odile for the actress Anzhelina Vorontsova, his partner.

"These demands were not fulfilled."

The attack left Filin writhing in agony in the snow and has forced him to have more than 20 operations to try to save his sight and repair the damage to his face.

It also damaged the reputation of one of Russia's leading cultural institutions, revealing the bitter rivalries behind the scenes.   Continued...

Bolshoi Theatre dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko (2nd L), together with his co-defendants, is escorted before a court session in Moscow October 31, 2013. REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov