Drama engulfs the Bolshoi as prima ballerina seeks refuge in Canada
MOSCOW, February 5 - RAPSI, Ingrid Burke. Less than a month after Boshoi Ballet Artistic Director Sergei Filin nearly lost his vision in a brutal acid attack in central Moscow, it has been widely reported that the company’s principal dancer Svetlana Lunkina has sought refuge in Canada based on threats she and her family have purportedly faced in the aftermath of a business deal gone bad with artist Vladimir Vinokur.
According to a ruling on related motions issued last week by Ontario’s Superior Court of Justice, Vinokur sued Lunkina’s husband Vladislav Moskalev on behalf of Russian non-profit organization Foundation in Support of Culture and Arts (FSCA).
Vinokur alleges that while serving as Chairman of FSCA’s Board of Trustees in between 2011 and 2012, Moskalev misappropriated upwards of $3.7 million from the organization’s budget, a portion of which he then used as consideration to obtain a mortgage on a particular Ontario property. According to the plaintiff, the very day
Moskalev obtained the mortgage from the Toronto-Dominion Bank, he turned around and transferred it again Snowview Bancorp Inc. either for inadequate consideration or for nothing at all.
In the words of the court, “[a]lthough the statement of claim does not specifically allege fraud on the part of Snowview, it can certainly be inferred from the allegation that it has obtained the benefit of the mortgage for inadequate consideration and the plaintiff’s demand that the mortgage be transferred to it.”
The property at issue is owned by the estate of Oleg Faev. According to the court documents, Moskalev is engaged in a separate set of proceedings seeking repayment from the estate for a lone he purportedly made toward Faev’s purchase of the property.
Russian daily Izvestia reported last week that Lunkina had taken a sabbatical for the present season based on fears for the safety of her family and herself. She reportedly stated that she would only return to the Bolshoi on the condition that Vinokur would withdraw his claims and publicly acknowledge his actions as unacceptable.
Lunkina joined the Bolshoi in 1997, and since then has starred in such classics as Swan Lake and Giselle.
The reputation of the legendary Bolshoi Ballet has come under fire in the weeks since a masked assailant heaved what is believed to have been concentrated sulfuric acid in Filin’s face as he attempted to enter his home in January. Filin suffered third degree burns. Despite initial fears to the contrary, he is expected to recover his vision.
Shortly after the attack, a Bolshoi Theater spokesperson confirmed that Filin had recently received threats.
Filin began dancing with the Bolshoi in 1988 after graduating from the Moscow School of Choreography. He ended his storied dancing career in 2008, and was appointed artistic director of the Bolshoi in 2011.
Various theories have emerged over the identity of the culprit and his or her motivation.