Can Russian stoicism weather an acid attack, a fleeing ballerina and a cancelled premiere?

If it¹s true that bad things come in threes, the Bolshoi must be looking forward to a welcome respite after what has been a turbulent month even by its notoriously histrionic standards.

The first blow was the highly publicised acid attack on its artistic director Sergei Filin in January. The incident took place in the street outside Filin¹s apartment and left him with serious burns to eyes and face. After five operations he is due to fly to Germany for emergency treatment in an attempt to fully restore his sight, crucial for his work with the ballet. He has been in regular contact with the acting artistic director Galina Stepanenko. The likely object of the vicious attack was to remove him from his creative post, but speculation has been rife as to the motivations of the perpetrators. Filin has stated that he is absolutely certain that he knows who was behind the assault but that he will not name names until the authorities have completed their investigations. He also claimed to have

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