Bolshoi Ballet artistic director Sergei Filin turned up for the Russian company's traditional seasonal kick-off and annual meeting today, but admitted he was not yet ready to return to his post after January's acid attack against him.
Filin, wearing tinted glasses, said he will be travelling back and forth to Germany for continued treatment from the shocking incident, which made headlines around the globe.
In January, a masked assailant approached the dancer-turned-ballet chief as he returned home after work. The man threw sulphuric acid at Filin's face before running off.
Filin, who has undergone nearly two dozen operations on his eyes and face in the past eight months, was nearly blinded in the incident. He has reportedly regained most of the vision in his left eye, but continues to struggle with the use of his right eye.
The brutal attack exposed the company's bitter power struggles, internal intrigue and infighting to a worldwide audience, casting a dark shadow on the reputation of the venerable, globally acclaimed cultural institution.
One of the Bolshoi's dancers, Pavel Dmitrichenko, was subsequently arrested and charged along with two others for the attack.
As well, in the aftermath of the incident, two rivals — longtime principal dancer Nikolai Tsiskaridze and Bolshoi theatre general director Anatoly Iksanov — were dismissed from their posts.
"The troupe hopes very much that Sergei will recover and come back," Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova told Reuters.
"To what extent he will be able to take part in the life of the troupe, that will become clear in the nearest future."