Continued from page 1

Dmitrichenko’s girlfriend was coached by Tsiskaridze.

When contacted by The Associated Press Tsiskaridze texted back: “I have nothing to say…”

Filin is the sixth artistic director at the Bolshoi since the legendary 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 the resistance from dancers and teachers still loyal to Grigorovich, but Filin was seen as capable of bridging that gap.

The Izvestia daily on Wednesday quoted ballet teacher Marina Kondratyeva as saying that Dmitrichenko had a brilliant career and would not have needed to seek revenge on Filin.

Kondratyeva admitted that his girlfriend Vorontsova had not been given leading parts lately but for a good reason: “How could Filin `elbow her out’? Tsiskaridze is mentoring and coaching her _ but she was just plain fat.”

Vorontsova danced for Filin when he worked at the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Theater, Moscow’s second ballet company. Russian newspapers said that Filin expected Vorontsova to stay at the theater when she finished doing her apprenticeship but she went to Bolshoi instead _ before Filin was hired to work there.

Filin’s lawyer, however, told the Rossiya television channel that Vorontsova is unlikely to be the only cause of the conflict.

“We cannot say that Ms. Vorontsova was the only reason why it happened,” Tatyana Stukalova said. “We believe that investigators will still have to do a lot of work to establish all the facts.”

Russian newspapers quoted unidentified ballet dancers saying that Dmitrichenko had a fiery temper.

In a rare public outburst, Dmitrichenko posted an angry comment in November responding to a newspaper review which said his “artistic scope is limited not to mention his physical potential.”

Dmitrichenko on the website of the Kommersant daily accused the journalist of bias, calling the writer “a failed performer.” Kommersant later took down his comment. One of the screenshots of the detailed remarks read:

“I’m happy, I’m accomplished, I work with the genius of a teacher, I work with Genius, Grigorovich himself!!! What about you??”

Dmitrichenko was due to appear at the Bolshoi in “Sleeping Beauty” on March 16 where he played Bluebird.


Sasha Merkushev and Yelena Yegorova contributed to this report.