The National Ballet of Canada has announced that a former Bolshoi prima ballerina will join its team as a principal featured guest in the 2013/2014 season.
Svetlana Lunkina has danced for Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre ballet troupe since 1997, but has resided in Toronto since fall 2012. In January, she announced her decision to stay in Canada instead of returning home, due to threats and blackmail she received there.
Lunkina has been taking classes with the National Ballet and danced for the company in June for its Mad Hot Ballet: Dangerous Love event.
The Bolshoi itself has been mired in controversy and power struggles, which made international headlines in January when a masked assailant threw acid into the face of the Russian company's artistic director, Sergei Filin.
Karen Kain, the National Ballet of Canada’s artistic director, announced on Wednesday that Evan McKie would also become a principal guest artist, with Matthew Golding and Jiri Jelinek joining the troupe as guest artists.