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A string of successive artistic directors tried to bring new energy and a more modern repertoire to the Moscow theater, only to face opposition from dancers and teachers who remained devoted to Grigorovich and his ballets.

Filin, who took up his post in March 2011, was seen as capable of bridging the gap. He was a veteran of the Bolshoi, where he danced from 1989 until 2007, and later served as artistic director of the Stanislavsky and Nemirovich Theater, Moscow’s second ballet company.

Filin was instrumental in bringing a young Vorontsova to Moscow to study and had hoped she would stay to dance for him at the Stanislavsky. Instead, she joined the Bolshoi.

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AP writer Vladimir Isachenkov contributed to this report.