UK & World News

  • 2 February 2013, 13:29

Bolshoi Acid Attack: New Production Halted

The Bolshoi Ballet has postponed its new production because of the acid attack on its artistic director.

A spokesperson for the theatre confirmed to Sky News that its planned performance of The Rite of Spring would be delayed until Sergei Filin was able to return to work.

Earlier this week Svetlana Lunkina, a leading Bolshoi ballerina who had been due to star in the production, said she had fled to Canada and was too scared to return to Russia after also receiving threats.

The threats to Lunkina are thought to be linked to her husband's business dealings and are not connected to the attack on Filin.

Filin has undergone a series of operations to try to save his eyesight after a masked man threw acid in his face outside his Moscow flat last month.

He is expected to be transferred to a hospital in Germany next week for further treatment, but it is still unclear whether he will regain full sight in both eyes.

The Bolshoi had been due to premier a new version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in March, as part of a festival of dance to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the work.

It was one of the famous Russian ballet company's most eagerly anticipated performances of the year, and had involved the award-winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor.

In a statement, the Bolshoi said: "The Bolshoi management and the stage team led by Wayne McGregor have taken a joint decision to postpone The Rite of Spring as Sergei Filin is undergoing treatment."

It said that new dates for the production would be announced once Filin was well enough to return to his position at the theatre.

The former star dancer has said he believes the attack was motivated by those "seeking to satisfy their ambitions", but that he has forgiven all those involved and is determined to return to work.

No arrests have yet been made.