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Fearful Bolshoi dancer wants to stay in Canada after acid attack

January 30, 2013|By David Ng
  • Bolshoi dancer Svetlana Lunkina, with Dmitri Gudanov, during a rehearsal of "Swan Lake" at the Royal Opera House in London in 2006.
Bolshoi dancer Svetlana Lunkina, with Dmitri Gudanov, during a rehearsal… (Carl de Souza / AFP/Getty…)

A top dancer at Russia's Bolshoi Ballet is seeking refuge in Canada following the acid attack earlier this month on the company's artistic director, Sergei Filin, according to news reports.

Ballerina Svetlana Lunkina told the newspaper Izvestia that she fears returning to Russia and has notified the company that she wants to prolong her stay in Canada. The company has accepted her request, the Associated Press reported.

Lunkina has stated that her relationship with Filin had been "strained" in recent weeks, according to the AP. She also said the attack scared her and that she hopes the perpetrators of the crime will be caught. 

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The dancer's situation is further complicated by her statements that she has been the victim of threats in recent days. She has been quoted as saying that she and her husband, Vladislav Moskalyov, had a falling out with Vladimir Vinokur, who heads the Vinokur Foundation for Arts and Culture.

The falling out apparently centered around a planned movie on the life of Mathilde Kschessinska, a dancer and consort to Czar Nicholas II. Vinkour's foundation is backing the movie project. The film reportedly is being written by "Taxi Driver" screenwriter Paul Schrader.

The dancer said she has received threats from the foundation and that her Facebook account had been hacked, according to the AP.

Vinokur reportedly defended himself on Russian radio, saying that Lunkina's husband had a conflict with Filin and had threatened the ballet chief. 

Filin suffered serious facial injuries earlier this month when someone threw acid in his face as he was leaving his home.

He said last week that he believes the attack was an inside job. "I associate what happened with my work,” he said in an interview with the daily newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda. "I have provoked an aggression in somebody. Sooner or later this aggression was to take the shape of concrete action."


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