Friday, February 01, 2013

From Russia with Hate: Bloody Bolshoi Acid Toss May Blind Ballet Chief for Life

In Russia, ballet is "a blood sport," according to Scott Pelly on the CBS Evening New, covering the vicious acid attack on the face of Bolshoi Ballet artistic director, Sergei Filin.  

The assailant, so far unidentified, is assumed to be a Bolshoi dancer enraged over the selection, made by Felin shortly after assuming directorship of the company in 2011, of a U.S. dancer to fill a principal role.

Do you still want to be a dancer?  You might first consider checking some safer ways to express yourself physically, such as say, bull fighting or monster jams.

"Doctors are fighting to save the sight of the artistic director of Russia's illustrious Bolshoi Ballet after a masked assailant threw acid in his face on a Moscow street," reported CNN.

The CBS new reports told a tale  "of poisonous rivalries and cutthroat competition among Russia's top dancers, all for the thrill of thrilling "a ballet-mad city where people are as devoted as die-hard sports fans."

Heck, that's where I should move.  Here in the U.S., a certain national pastime, about to be watched this weekend on TV by over a third of the population, leaves me stupidly bored, disengaged.

Back at the Bolshoi, where "art" is something we associate with the higher values and manners of life, dancers do dastardly harm, one to another.  It's been goiing on for over a century.  Needles are slipped into costumes, glass into ballet shoes. Much luck, and may you enjoy your shrieking pain, my hated rival!

Still, "there's never been anything this," claims the CBS newsman. Preceding the acid attack, for pre-show warm ups, Filin's tires were slashed. His e-mail account hacked, into which flowed those lovely death threats -- the new and improved substitute for the old showbiz good luck adage, "break a leg."    

And out in the seats sit the Russians, riveted to the shimmering perfection of bodies gracefully in motion.

The investigation goes on. Dancers take lie detector tests.  The Crowds, I assume, pack the ticket windows with greater force than ever, and therein may lie yet another tale of hateful sabotage -- knocking to the ground the person who stands in line just ahead of you -- for a ticket to the bloody Bolshoi ballet.

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