Bolshoi Ballet director Sergei Filin talks following acid attack, interim director named

By Daniel S Levine,

Sergei Filin, the artistic director of Russia’s Bolshoi Ballet, made headlines around the world after being attacked with acid. He is currently speaking out concerning the incident. Meanwhile, the prestigious theater hopes to continue operations and has named an interim director while Filin recovers.

A masked attacker threw acid in Filin’s face last week, leaving the 42-year-old with third degree burns. Doctors also suggested that he could lose his eyesight, but he is currently undergoing operations to make sure that doesn’t happen.

According to Reuters, Filin spoke with Russia’s Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper from his hospital bed and discussed the threats he received before the attack. He also says that he requested protection, but was denied.

“On December 15, I was in the office of the theater's general director and asked for protection and help, because I had heard a serious threat addressed to me,” he said Tuesday. “But the director told me that, well, we have hard jobs, that he himself had worked as if on the front lines for 12 years already, and that it was necessary to take courage and find in oneself the strength not to react to these threats.”

“I bring out aggression in somebody. Sooner or later that aggression was sure to turn into concrete action,” Filin said, regretting not bringing the threats to the media’s attention. Later, he said that he hopes to see his three sons grow up.

“I want to see how they grow up, how they stand up on their feet,” Filin told the paper.

Meanwhile, the Bolshoi Theatre must continue operations while Filin recovers. According to the New York Times, former principal dancer Galina Stepanenko will take over as interim artistic director.

General director Anatoly Iksanov told the media that Filin will have another operation today and doctors can give an update on the condition of his eyes in 10-14 days.

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