May 22, 2013
Bolshoi dancer who played villains admits acid attack
A dancer at Russia's Bolshoi ballet who made his name playing villains has confessed to ordering the acid attack that nearly blinded its director, angry that his lover was being kept out of leading roles.
Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has danced the crazed monarch in Ivan the Terrible and the villain in Swan Lake, was detained on Tuesday for a crime that shocked Russia and blackened the reputation of the world-famous theatre.
Dmitrichenko was shown haggard and unkempt in a police video confessing to plotting the attack, in which a masked man threw a jar of sulphuric acid in the face of artistic director Sergei Filin late on Jan. 17.
"I organised this attack, but not to the extent that it happened," he said, apparently meaning he did not intend the attack go so far.
Two other men who had no known connection to the Bolshoi also confessed in the video, made available by police to Reuters and other media. One said he had thrown the acid at Filin and the other that he had driven the getaway car.
Dmitrichenko, who is in his late 20s, said he had given the reasons for the attack in a written statement to police but did not say what they were on camera.
A source at the Bolshoi confirmed media reports that the outspoken dancer was angry that his partner, ballerina Anzhelina Vorontsova, had missed out on top roles including the lead in Swan Lake.
"Filin certainly squeezed out Vorontsova, but that is not a reason to throw acid in someone's face," the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
Moscow police said they believed the motive was personal hostility based on a conflict at work.
Before flying to Germany for treatment last month to save his sight, Filin, 42, said he believed he knew who was behind the attack and that he thought it was connected with his work. He is recovering and is expected back at work this summer.