Bolshoi ballerina flees to Canada after death threats


Dancers Dmitri Gudanov and Svetlana Lunkina from the Russian Bolshoi Ballet Company perform during a rehearsal of the 'Swan Lake' in London.


Carl de Souza

A ballerina at the famed Bolshoi ballet in Russia has fled to Canada after receiving death threats.

Svetlana Lunkina, 33, said she's taking leave from the Moscow ballet just weeks after the company's artistic director was attacked with acid.

It is unclear whether she will return or whether the hospitalized director Sergei Filin would take her back.

The apparent death threats and the acid attack on Filin do not appear to be related.

Lunkina told Russia's Izvestia daily that the threats stem from a film deal her husband was involved in which ended in a business dispute, reported AFP.

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The exact nature of the threats still remain unclear but her husband is now being sued.

Lunkina has already been away from Russia for six months but said she will not return until the end of the season, reported the Globe and Mail.

She owns a $1.6 million home north of Toronto and has started a dance company there in October, said the Globe and Mail.

She is also teaching at a dance studio in Toronto while practicing with the National Ballet of Canada.

Lunkina was one of the top dancers at the Bolshoi and her departure is the dance troupe's latest major setback.