A young, ambitious ballerina appears to be at the center of the January acid attack on Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin, reports the New York Times. Anzhelina Vorontsova, described by the paper as a "luminous blonde," made a splash when she was discovered at 16. Filin brought her to Moscow, where he was leading the second-tier Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko Ballet, in 2008; but just a year later Vorontsova jumped to the Bolshoi. Filin later moved to the Bolshoi as well, but bitter feelings about her exit reportedly lingered.
Vorontsova's supporters say Filin passed over the young star, now 21, for top roles out of spite, but a critic says the ballerina has gained weight, lacks technical skills, and is still a beginner. Vorontsova's boyfriend Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has admitted to organizing the attack, was reportedly angry he was denied a choice role and that Vorontsova was not picked to dance the good-bad swan lead in Swan Lake. "When Filin said, 'No, I don’t think so,' [Dmitrichenko] said: ‘I will show you. I will organize you a New Year’s to remember,'" recounts Filin's assistant. The Times notes that Russian prosecutors haven't revealed their own take on motive yet. (Read more Bolshoi stories.)