Ballet Villain Cops to Bolshoi Acid Attack

'Ivan the Terrible' plotted attack on director, police say

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 6, 2013 2:14 AM CST

(Newser) – Did playing Ivan the Terrible go to the head of one of the Bolshoi ballet's star dancers? Russian authorities say Pavel Dmitrichenko, a soloist who danced the title role in the ballet about the ruthless tsar, has confessed to masterminding the acid attack on the Moscow troupe's artistic director earlier this year, the AP reports. Two other suspects have confessed to carrying out the attack, which caused severe burns to the eyes and face of Sergei Filin.

Dmitrichenko's other roles at the Bolshoi have included the villain in Swan Lake. A spokeswoman for the Bolshoi Theater says she is unaware of any tension between Filin and the dancer, Reuters reports, although reports in the Russian media suggest that there was a conflict between the director and Dmitrichenko's girlfriend, who is also a Bolshoi soloist. Filin is currently in Germany for treatment that is expected to save his sight. Before he left Russia, he said he believed he knew who was behind the attack.

Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko is seen after a dress rehearsal of Ivan the Terrible .
Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko is seen after a dress rehearsal of Ivan the Terrible .   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, file)
Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko as Ivan the Terrible performs at a dress rehearsal  in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia.
Russian dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko as Ivan the Terrible performs at a dress rehearsal in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia.   (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)
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