Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre on Thursday announced it will not renew the contract of its ballet troupe’s artistic director Sergei Filin, a victim of a brutal 2013 acid attack. A statement released by the theatre stated that Vladimir Urin, the Bolshoi Theatre general director, at an end of season meeting told Filin that his contract would not be renewed when it expires in March 2016.
However, Filin has stated that that he has no reason to take offence, as he had expected the same.
“In the modern world this is normal practice. I consider it fair. I have to move on, developing myself as a professional, doing something new,” he said.
However, Filin will remain in charge throughout the upcoming season and the theatre has said that he has been offered a role cooperating with Bolshoi after his contract ends. Urin further said that the post of artistic director will be scrapped once Filin leaves and is replaced with a less wide-ranging role.
Urin also said that the decision to not offer Filin a new contract was linked to the “affairs of the internal life of the theatre”.
The name of the next ballet head is likely to be announced in September.
Filin was left scarred and partially blind after he was doused with acid on the order of ballet soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko in January 2013. The subsequent trial resulted in Dmitrichenko being jailed for six years but uncovered reports of backstage rivalries and allegations that Filin had handed out roles in exchange for money and sexual favours.