Renowned Bolshoi Ballerina Flees to Canada

Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 05:07 AM

By Bill Hoffmann

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A renowned Russian ballerina who is one of the Bolshoi Ballet’s biggest stars has fled to Canada after receiving threats related to a soured business deal involving her husband.
 
It’s the second major blow to the Bolshoi this month following an attack on the famed Moscow dance group’s artistic director, in which a powerful acid was thrown in his face.

Svetlana Lunkina, who has danced with the Bolshoi for 16 years, revealed she has left the Bolshoi for the remainder of the season for safety reasons, the Russian daily newspaper Izvestia reported.

“I think we need to react to these threats. These people have no right to interfere in our private lives or my professional work,” said Lunkina, 33.

She explained the threats are related to a movie her husband Vladislav Moskalyev had been producing about Russian ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya, who was the mistress of the future Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. She died in 1971 at the age of 99.

Moskalyev fell out with his business partner, was kicked off the project and is now being sued for millions of dollars, according to Agence France-Presse.

Lunkina did not explain the nature of the threats, but tension has wracked the Bolshoi this month following attack on artistic director Sergei Filin.
Filin, 42, was hit in the face with acid by a masked man who confronted him outside his Moscow apartment. It is feared he may lose his eyesight, Public Radio International reports.

Authorities do not believe there is a connection between the acid assault and the threats made against Lunkina, but both have left the Russian ballet community on edge.

The ballerina joined the Bolshoi in 1997, and in her first year danced the main role in the premiere performances of “Giselle’’ by Vladimir Vasiliev.

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