In January 2013 Sergei Filin, former lead dancer and artistic director of the Bolshoi's ballet company, was on his way home when a man threw acid in his face. The vicious assault revealed what Bolshoi insiders had known for some time: the revered theatre was in crisis, defined by personality clashes, jealousy and dysfunction.
In the weeks that followed, dancer Pavel Dmitrichenko was arrested and imprisoned for the attack on Filin; other dancers resigned or were sacked, and the Kremlin, desperate to create a fragile peace inside Russia’s iconic theatre, installed a new director. The season of 2013/4 promised more soul searching and blood letting.
Nick Read's documentary Bolshoi Babylon reveals the myriad personal and political divisions between dancers, managers and backstage workers, as the theatre attempts to paper over the cracks of a divided yet proud institution and regain its status as the world’s leading dance company.
Also showing at: Bertha DocHouse