It is not a common sight to see two people throwing acidic and vitriolic comments towards each other. (Well, maybe, depending on where you live and what the outside temperature is, to generate rage). And it is not a daily event to see two dancers doing it with their criticism towards each other. But, to take it in the literal sense? Bizzare is the word that comes to my mind.
Coming straight out of a movie plot, early this year a ballet dancer, Sergei Filin, was sprayed with sulfuric acid, by masked man, on his face making him partially blind. See the BBC article about this incident. At that time, infighting in Bolshoi was suspected.
But, it seems a soloist has confessed to the crime by arranging a “hit”. Fortunately, he got arrested and made the confession. After the attack, ballet and specifically ballet in Moscow came under the spotlight. More skeletons started to tumble. It seems the rivalry among dancers in Bolshoi goes back to centuries. Some instances were harmless, like setting an alarm clock to go off during an intense moment (looks like a prank) to the extreme, such as “broken glass nestled in the tip of a toeshoe”!!! Read NY Times article.
Yikes! If you are wondering what made them commit such extreme acts. Jealousy and revenge seems like the prime motives. A supposedly brilliant ballerina, who was the ex of the victim, seems to be the driving factor for her boyfriend (who is a prime soloist) to plan the “hit”. Didn’t I tell you that this entire thing looks like a movie plot?
And why? As bizzare the incidents sounded to me, more bizarre is this sentence in the recent NY Times article (words are not in bold in the article)
…it was a case of inflated expectations. She said that Ms. Vorontsova was 10 pounds overweight for the top roles she sought. “When she wasn’t given the roles, what happened?” Ms. Titova said. “Of course she went and sobbed to her husband, she sobbed to her teacher.”
Did you catch that? 10 pounds! That’s right about 4.5 kgs!
Watch this PBS news hour about the recent development and as an icing on the cake, watch out for the question at timestamp 5:05 “whether this incident gave ballet a wider stage”!