"There are many trials ahead" ... Sergei Filin. Photo: AP/RenTV
SERGEI FILIN, the Russian ballet master who had acid thrown in his face, has promised to continue his work at the Bolshoi Theatre.
In his first newspaper interview since the attack, Filin said doctors had promised to save the vision in his left eye, but the right was more badly damaged and would need long treatment.
''My eyes worry me the most,'' he told the Komsomolskaya Pravda. ''Even if my features are seriously changed, that doesn't frighten me at all. Most important for me is that I can think and keep working - and my family and children. I have three sons. I want to see how they grow up, how they start out in life.''
Sergei Filin in 2011. Photo: AFP
Filin, who became artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet in 2011, was attacked near his home last week by a masked man who threw sulphuric acid into his face after calling out his name.
Police believe the assault was connected to Filin's job. There has been infighting over the artistic direction, managerial structure and fiercely contested roles for dancers at the Bolshoi, which is coming to Australia to perform in Brisbane from May 30 to June 9.
''There are many trials ahead; I will have to make important decisions about my health,'' he said.
''But I am full of strength, in good spirits - there is no anger or desperation. I am continuing to run the Bolshoi ballet, just as I was before. Even from hospital, I'm keeping up with what's going on in the theatre.''
Filin said he had clearly ''provoked aggression in someone'' but did not speculate on who could have carried out the attack, although he said it was likely to be connected to his work.
Competition between dancers was healthy, he added, citing his own former rivalry with a colleague, Andrei Uvarov. ''But neither of us had the desire to pour acid over the other, or sprinkle broken glass in his ballet slippers.''