UPDATE: Sergei Filin, Bolshoi Ballet Acid Casualty, Finally Returning to Moscow
The artistic director of Russia's Bolshoi Ballet is returning to Moscow from Germany following eight months and 22 operations on his eyes and face after an acid attack that nearly blinded him, the theater's spokeswoman said.
Sergei Filin will fly in on Saturday and take part in the troupe's reunion after holidays on Tuesday, the spokeswoman said further. She could not say what role he might play with the corps in the future.
"The troupe hopes very much that Sergei will recover and come back," Katerina Novikova said. "To what extent he will be able to take part in the life of the troupe, that will become clear in the nearest future."
Filin had the power to make or break careers at the Bolshoi, a world-renowned symbol of Russian culture, and the January 17 attack put the ballet's bitter internal rivalries in the spotlight.
Novikova said in June that Filin could not see out of one eye at all and vision in the second one was severely damaged. She had no fresh details on his health as of Thursday.
One of the Bolshoi's top dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, is on trial for charges of ordering the attack. He and his two alleged accomplices face up to 12 years in jail if convicted.
Dmitrichenko, who made his name playing villains in Swan Lake and Ivan the Terrible, told the court he was upset with the management and Filin, but that he only wanted the artistic director beaten up--not attacked with acid.
Russia dismissed Anatoly Iksanov, long-serving head of the Bolshoi, in the aftermath of the incident, and entrusted Vladimir Urin with the mission to rebuild the group's reputation.
"From the very first day after this horrid event took place, everybody [in the Bolshoi] felt we want to prove to ourselves and Sergei and the whole world that we are worthy and apt. The best thing we can do for Sergei is to do our job well, that is dance," Novikova said.
(Reporting by Catherine Koppel, writing by Gabriela Baczynska, editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Logan K. Young)© 2016 The Classical Art, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.