After weeks of speculation as to who was behind the vicious acid attack on Bolshoi director Sergei Filin, multiple sources are pointing fingers at the company's dancers.
ABC News reported over the weekend that police believe the bizarre assault could have been an inside job, quoting an unnamed law enforcement official who revealed that members of the renown ballet troupe are considered suspects. It's unclear who or how many dancers are being questioned in the ongoing investigation -- only company member Nikolai Tsiskaridze has been implicated as a possible suspect, according to the New York Times, due to his long-standing feud with the theater's general director, Anatoly Iksanov.
Tsiskaridze, in response to being questioned by authorities, has challenged whether or not Filin was actually attacked with chemicals, remarking to the BBC: “The point is that acid is a very dangerous thing, and if you have studied chemistry or read about other incidents of this kind, you must know that there are always horrible consequences." He continues, "If a person is speaking and giving interviews right away, it all looks very strange.”
LONDON - AUGUST 14: Nikolai Tsiskaridze performs in Pique Dame during a photcall at the Royal Opera House on August 14, 2006 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
The New York Times reports the Bolshoi Ballet administration has threatened to sue Tsiskaridze, noting the dancer's repeated criticism of the company and his public condemnation of top executives. (Dancers at the Bolshoi enjoy a lifetime tenure, so a lawsuit is likely the theater's only alternative to getting rid of a performer.)
Filin, who is currently receiving eye treatment in Germany, reportedly stated he knows the identity of his attacker, though he refuses to provide a name until the official investigation is finished. Speaking in an interview with Rossiya 24, he said that he believed his attack was related to the 2011 scandal surrounding former Bolshoi artistic director, Gennady Yanin, who resigned after pornographic images of him surfaced on the internet. “When I came to this post, I felt close attention from a certain group, probably hoping to change everything at the theater," Filin said.
More dramatic updates are likely to occur, so stay tuned. In the meantime, what do you make of the possible ballerina-led crime?