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Battle for control over Russia's Bolshoi escalates

The Associated Press, Tuesday, March 19, 2013, 8:00am (PDT)

MOSCOW (AP) — The Bolshoi Theater's general director has rejected criticism from an assertive principal dancer who is openly aspiring to take his job at the famed Russian dance theater.

Anatoly Iksanov responded Tuesday to dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze's claim that he feels ready to take the top job by saying that his opponent's "fame and scandalousness" aren't enough for the position.

The two men have waged an increasingly ugly public battle since the Jan. 17 acid attack on Bolshoi artistic director Sergei Filin.

Iksanov has blamed Tsiskaridze for creating an atmosphere of intrigue that contributed to the attack. The dancer has accused Iksanov of using the attack to settle scores.

When asked about critical statements from the dancer, Iksanov said he wouldn't comment on "nonsense and dirt."

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