Following his headline-grabbing acid attack last week, artistic director of Russia's famed Bolshoi Ballet, Sergein Filin, says that he believes his attacker was none other than an insider from the ballet company. Assuming that the assault had to do with his role in the company, Filin shares his opinion during an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda.
"I associate what happened with my work," Filin states. "I have provoked an aggression in somebody. Sooner or later this aggression was to take the shape of concrete action." Though admitting he had received some threats by phone before the incident, the artist finds it hard to believe that it could come "to direct violence."
Filin, who has been serving as the Bolshoi director since 2011, suggests that the attack was likely related to the way he assigned roles to his dancers in the company. Noting that the competition at Bolshoi is always very tough, he insists, "But none of us had a desire to pour another person with sulfuric acid."
"I don't know who could have done it but I am sure there are such people. If this crime remains unsolved I don't even know what to believe in then," he opens up, adding that he's now worried about losing his eyesight. "Since acid was thrown at me from the right side, my right eye was damaged worse than the left."
Despite the tragedy, Filin is still optimistic about continuing his work of art. "I am not losing spirit," he claims. "For me the main thing is to be able to think and to continue to work. I have three sons and I want to see them grow and mature." Commenting on Galina Stepanenko, who has been chosen to replace him as the artistic chief, Filin says, "She is valued and respected [by the company]."
Filin was attacked by a masked assailant on late Thursday, January 17. At the time, he was about to enter his home in central Moscow, when suddenly the assailant called his name and splashed acid into his face, leaving the artist with severe burns and possible lost of sight.
He was then admitted to hospital with severe burns of multiple degrees to his face and eyes, including third-degree cornea burns. According to doctors, he would need plastic surgery and a wig for his hair would likely fall out. Bolshoi officials plan to send Filin to a foreign hospital, probably in Israel or Germany, for further treatment.
The Bolshoi Theater reopened in October 2011 after a massive six-year reconstruction effort. Filin was appointed to direct the legendary theater in March 2011 following a fierce competition.