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Bolshoi dancer pleads not guilty to acid attack

A Bolshoi Ballet dancer accused of plotting the acid attack that nearly blinded the troupe's artistic director, has pleaded not guilty to the severity of the assault, Russia Today reports.

Pavel Dmitrichenko told a court that he had agreed when his alleged accomplice accused of carrying out the Sergei Filin suggested hitting him the head.

However, he insisted that he did not tell him to throw acid in his face.

Pavel Dmitrichenko is seen after he confessed to his involvement to police Credit: Police Handout

Yesterday, police revealed that Dmitrichenko had confessed to orchestrating the attack on Filin in January which left him with disfigured.

Bolshoi dancer 'did not mean' acid attack on director

A Bolshoi Ballet dancer, accused of an organising attack on the troupe's artistic director has told a court he did not mean for him be splashed with acid, Reuters reports.

Pavel Dmitrichenko said he had agreed when his alleged accomplice accused of carrying out the Sergei Filin suggested hitting him the head, but did not tell him to throw acid in Filin's face.

Fillin was attacked while walking home in central Moscow in January.

Bolshoi Theatre ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko Credit: Reuters


Bolshoi Theatre's 237-year history

The Bolshoi Theatre has been at the heart of Russian high-culture since the early 19th century and is well-known for its off-stage drama and conflict.

The Ballet troupe has gone through five artistic directors since 1995.

The recent acid attack ranks as one of the theatre's worst incidents in its 237-year history.

  • 1776: Bolshoi theatre company founded but performances initially in a private home
  • 1825: New venue finally opens after repeatedly being hit by fires
  • 1856: The theatre's first renovation completes in time for the coronation of Tsar Alexander II
  • 1936: Soviet dictator Josef Stalin storms out of an opera by Dmitry Shostakovich
  • 2003: Bolshoi bosses heavily criticised for trying to sack ballerina Anastasia Volochkova for being 'too heavy'
  • 2005: The theatre, on the verge of collapse, closes for renovations following years of neglect
  • 2011: After six years and a £464m renovation, the theatre reopens
  • 2013: Dancer confesses to plotting an acid attack that nearly blinded the troupe’s artistic director

Bolshoi dancer pictured during acid attack confession

Pavel Dmitrichenko pictured during a confession to police. Credit: Police

Appearing haggard and unkempt, Pavel Dmitrichenko was shown in a police video confessing to plotting the attack, in which a masked man threw a jar of sulphuric acid in the face of artistic director Sergei Filin on January 17th.

"I organised this attack, but not to the extent that it happened," he said, apparently meaning he did not intend the attack to go so far.

Two other men who had no known connection to the Bolshoi also confessed in the video released by police.

Russian media speculate on dancer's grudge against director

Pavel Dmitrichenko performs as Ivan The Terrible at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow in 2012. Credit: Reuters

Russia's Channel One state television reported that Pavel Dmitrichenko's girlfriend, also a Bolshoi dancer, was known to have been at odds with director Sergei Filin over the parts she was being given.

Other media said Dmitrichenko himself had missed out on several top roles at the theatre.

The 29-year-old from from Moscow has danced in the Bolshoi Theatre troupe since 2002 and was to dance in "Sleeping Beauty" this month.

He could now face jail and possibly the end of his dance career.


Bolshoi dancer confesses to acid attack on director

Bolshoi Theatre ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko performs during the media preview of Ivan The Terrible in November last year. Credit: Reuters

One of the top dancers at Russia's Bolshoi Theatre has confessed to plotting an acid attack that nearly blinded the troupe's artistic director, police said today.

Soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, who has played the evil villain in Swan Lake and the crazed monarch in Ivan The Terrible, was detained on Tuesday over a crime that has shocked Russia and damaged the reputation of one its leading cultural institutions, revealing bitter rivalries behind the scenes.

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