Is the Bolshoi imploding?

On the heels of the conviction of three men – notably Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko, who was sentenced to six years in jail – for the acid attack on Artistic Director Sergei Filin, we learn of the abrupt resignation of Music Director and leading conductor Vassily Sinaisky.

Now Sergei Filin’s #2 “adviser” Dilyara Timergazina has been fired.

And a young dancer from Texas who last year joined the company after graduating from its training academy (Americans are a rarity in the Russian ballet world) has quit, alleging that she was pressured to pay a $10,000 bribe to obtain a solo role.

Is this a prelude to more shake-ups by forces loyal to Yuri Grigorovich, “an imperious second-rater who ruled the company by decree for three decades“?

Which leads us to hope that the BBC crew that is going in to document this powder keg – presumably with the blessing of the powers that be at the Bolshoi, whoever they are – is being outfitted with gas masks and body armour. The working title of the BBC’s 100-minute documentary is Bolshoi Babylon. The way events are unfolding at the Bolshoi these days, expect the ending to resemble the final temple destruction scene in La Bayadère:


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