Several stars at the Bolshoi, including celebrated dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze, have complained about what they called Filin’s unfair treatment of dancers at the theater.
Alexei Ratmansky, who was the Bolshoi ballet’s artistic director from 2004 until 2008, described an atmosphere of intrigue.
“What happened with Sergei Filin was not accidental,” Ratmansky, now an artist-in-residence at the American Ballet Theater, posted on his Facebook page. “The Bolshoi has many ills. It’s a disgusting cesspool, of those developing friendships with the artists, the speculators and scalpers, the half-crazy fans ready to bite the throats of the rivals of their favorites, the cynical hackers, the lies in the press and the scandalous interviews of staff.
“This is all one snowball caused by the lack of any ethics at the theater.”
Dancers Zakharova and Yan Godovsky played down talk of tensions at the company, saying there were disagreements but not “on this scale.”
Filin is the sixth artistic director at the Bolshoi since Yuri Grigorovich, who led the dance company for three decades, resigned in 1995 after losing a protracted dispute with theater management. Successive artistic directors have been unable to overcome resistance from dancers and teachers still loyal to Grigorovich as they tried to inject new life into the company.
Filin, the Bolshoi veteran who later brought modern ballets to Moscow’s second ballet company, was seen as capable of bridging that gap.