Bolshoi ballet names acting artistic director
FILE - In this Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011 file photo, Sergei Filin, center, poses with members of the Bolshoi Theater company involved in the Sleeping Beauty ballet, after a rehearsal, in the Bolshoi Theater that underwent renovation, in Moscow, Russia. A Moscow police said Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, that Filin, an artistic director at the legendary Bolshoi Theater, was attacked Thursday night by a man who splashed acid onto his face as the 43-year-old former dancer came out of his car outside his home in central Moscow. (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel, File)
MOSCOW (AP) — The Bolshoi ballet on Tuesday named a former prima ballerina to fill in for artistic director Sergei Filin, whose face and eyes were burned in an acid attack.
The appointment of Galina Stepanenko, who joined the famed ballet company in 1990 and retired from dancing only last year, was announced by the Bolshoi general director and Russia's culture minister during a meeting with the dancers.
The acid attack on Filin last week was seen as possible retaliation for his selection of certain dancers over others for prized roles. His attacker has not been identified.
Filin underwent surgery Tuesday to treat burns on his face and is scheduled to have a second eye operation on Wednesday. Doctors are most concerned about saving the sight in his right eye.
Bolshoi Theater general director Anatoly Iksanov said Stepanenko was Filin's choice to serve as acting artistic director and that he supported the decision. Filin and Stepanenko, both 42, had danced together for many years.
Stepanenko said she would fulfill Filin's plans and stick to his chosen repertoire, beginning with the opening of La Bayadere on Thursday.
Asked by journalists about intrigue and infighting at the Bolshoi, she said the ballet company was composed of many "brilliant, very diverse, very talented people."
In this video grab provided by RenTV via APTN, artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet Sergei Filin gestures in a hospital in Moscow, Friday, Jan. 18, 2013 where he is being treated. Filin, a 42-year-old former Bolshoi star, said a man threw the acid into his face late Thursday near the gate of his apartment building in central Moscow. Colleagues said Friday the could be in reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company. (AP Photo/RenTV) TV OUT
"I think that we will now respect, value and especially take care of one another," Stepanenko said.
Iksanov said Filin would return to his position, although when he would be able to do so was not known. The prognosis for his recovery will be clear in 10 to 14 days, the general director said.