Dancer denies acid attack order

A Bolshoi Ballet dancer has appeared in court accused of plotting an acid attack that nearly blinded the Russian troupe's artistic director. Pavel Dmitrichenko denied telling an alleged accomplice to throw acid in Sergei Filin's face.

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Ballet dancer paid around £1,000 for acid attack

Bolshoi Ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko is alleged to have paid an alleged accomplice 50,000 rubles (approx £1,000) to carry out the attack on artistic director Sergei Filin.

Mr Filin had acid thrown into his face as he walked home in central Moscow in January, he suffered disfigurement and was almost blinded.

The Bolshoi Theatre's artistic director Sergei Filin is seen with his face covered in damages. Credit: REUTERS/REN TV

Pavel Dmitrichenko told a court today that he "masterminded the crime, but not to the extent to which is happened".

He said he ordered for Mr Filin to be beaten up but was "shocked" when he heard about the acid attack.

Two other alleged participants have been detained after admitting their participation in the crime.


Ballet dancer: ' I did not order harm' to director

A dancer accused of organising an attack that nearly blinded the Russian Bolshoi Ballet's artistic director has admitted he told an alleged accomplice to beat him up but not to throw acid.

When I heard what happened to Sergei, I was just in shock. I could not believe that the man who proposed beating him up went ahead and did this thing with acid.

I did not order harm done to this man.

– Bolshoi Theatre ballet dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko

Dmitrichenko and two suspected accomplices were in court today for a hearing at which prosecutors requested they be held in custody over the attack on Sergei Filin.

A prosecutor said the state wants the dancer charged with a crime that is punishable by up to 12 years in prison.

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.

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