By Emily Senger - Thursday, March 14, 2013 - 0 Comments
Dennis Rodman’s next trip, Chris Hadfield gets keys to the spaceship, and Russia’s evil dancer heads to court
When life imitates art
Bolshoi Ballet star Pavel Dmitrichenko, famed for his portrayal of villains on stage, claimed from a Moscow court last week that while he sanctioned an attack on Sergei Filin, the company’s artistic director, he did not expect his hired thug to throw acid in the man’s face. Asked whether he wished to apologize to Filin, Dmitrichenko defiantly replied: “For what?”
They should write a song about it
Taylor Swift often laments her tragic love life, but Swift’s fans are all too happy to shower her with adoration. Now it seems not all of their messages are making it into the pop princess’s hands. A Nashville resident, Kylee Francescan, reportedly found stacks upon stacks of unopened letters addressed to Swift and covered in glitter, photos and stickers behind a school dumpster. When the local news team investigated, Swift’s people said the mail was likely mixed up with another batch of fan mail destined for the recycle depot. With Swift receiving “thousands of fan letters everyday,” it seems her problem may be too much love, not the opposite.
By John Fraser - Friday, February 8, 2013 at 2:00 PM - 0 Comments
Bolshoi ballerina Svetlana Lunkina explains what she’s doing with an unused return ticket to Moscow
The two worlds that Svetlana Lunkina lives and works in do not jibe very well these days. A prima ballerina at the peak of her career at the legendary Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, her life there has become increasingly scarred with wild and unproven criminal accusations about her husband and a savage attack on her artistic director.
Her domestic life in Canada, on the other hand, is almost picture perfect, with a dream house in bucolic Kleinberg, Ont., just outside Toronto, two young children whom she describes as embodying “the essence of my life,” and a quiet career of part-time teaching. The only connecting point between the two lives, it seems, is the miserably cold weather in both places, although Lunkina maintains, “the cold in Kleinberg is better than the cold in Moscow.”
Beyond the surface, the story is infinitely more complicated than a lot of stories that have recently appeared, some of which claim she is “defecting” to Canada because of the troubles back home. In fact, Lunkina is still a star of the Bolshoi, on leave, and is still listed on the company’s roster of top dancers. And unlike the famous Russian defectors of the old Communist Soviet Union, she has not had to escape from behind the Iron Curtain. She can go back and forth at will and has maintained a home in Canada for nearly a decade. Continue…
By Colin Perkel, The Canadian Press - Friday, February 1, 2013 at 6:59 PM - 0 Comments
TORONTO – A renowned Russian ballerina insisted Friday there is no link between the…
TORONTO – A renowned Russian ballerina insisted Friday there is no link between the threats that forced her to move to Canada and a vicious acid attack against the artistic director of the famed Bolshoi Theatre.
Svetlana Lunkina said she could not explain the attack on Sergei Filin, but said she and her family had been the victim of ongoing threats.
“I can’t even imagine what could have led to something that horrible to happen,” Lunkina said through a translator.
“This is outrageous and it’s terrible.”
By Jaime Weinman - Wednesday, January 30, 2013 at 1:42 PM - 0 Comments
Why one of Russia’s most beloved institutions is so cutthroat
The world was shocked earlier this month when a masked assailant threw acid in the face of Sergei Filin, the artistic director of the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow, requiring him to have operations to save his eyesight. But it was just one of many scandals at Russia’s most beloved arts institution. In the past two years, Filin has had his tires slashed by what he claimed were his artistic enemies at the company; a deputy director was forced to resign after photos of him in bed with a man were circulated online, reportedly by a rival; there were allegations of trading sex for promotions; one ballerina who sued the company told the Daily Beast, “Men with knives threatened to kill my ballet partners.” Another Bolshoi dancer fled to Canada this week after being threatened over her husband’s business.
For North Americans, the whole thing seems mystifying. Here, the world of classical ballet and dance is a low-stakes world. But Russians “take a special pride in the world of ballet and opera,” says Valery Gergiev, the celebrated conductor of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. “There are many national heroes and national treasures.” That’s the good side of a world where culture is taken seriously enough to have actual scandals.