Yet several stars at the Bolshoi, including celebrated dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze, have complained about what they called Filin's unfair treatment of dancers at the theater.
In a newspaper interview Friday, Tsiskaridze said the attack on Filin was most likely related to either his love life or his control over the lavish government funds allocated to the theater.
Alexei Ratmansky, the Bolshoi ballet's artistic director from 2004 until 2008, described an atmosphere of intrigue at the dance company.
"What happened with Sergei Filin was not accidental," Ratmansky, now an artist-in-residence at the American Ballet Theater, posted on his Facebook page. "The Bolshoi has many ills. It's a disgusting cesspool, of those developing friendships with the artists, the speculators and scalpers, the half-crazy fans ready to bite the throats of the rivals of their favorites, the cynical hackers, the lies in the press and the scandalous interviews of staff.
"This is all one snowball caused by the lack of any ethics at the theater."
But Bolshoi dancers Svetlana Zakharova and Yan Godovsky downplayed the tensions at the company, saying there were disagreements but not "on this scale." Zakharova, a prima ballerina, teared up when speaking about Filin.
"We've just realized that the job of a Bolshoi Theater director is a very dangerous one," she said.
Shortly after Filin's appointment, two soloists left the theater in protest. Also around that time, ballet company manager Gennady Yanin quit after erotic photographs of him were posted online in what appeared to be an effort to push him aside.
"The Bolshoi Theater is no isolated island," theater critic Alla Gerber, a cultural adviser to the Kremlin, said on a television talk show devoted to the attack. "It has absorbed all of the horrors happening in Russia."
Mansur Mirovalev contributed to this report.
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