A new stage for Bolshoi dancer on trial over acid attack

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Sergei Filin in happier times.

The artistic director of Russia's famed Bolshoi ballet once had the power to make or break careers.

That changed January 17th when a masked assailant called out his name and threw acid in his face nearly blinding him.

After numerous operations he returned to the Bolshoi last month.

On Tuesday it was a very different stage in focus as dancer Pavel Dmitrichnko faces charges of intentionally causing grievous bodily harm.

At a hearing in March, the man known to play villains on stage admitted he had wanted Filin to be roughed up -- but he was shocked to learn that acid was used. He faces up to 12 years in prison.

The scandal over the attack damaged the theater's reputation while exposed bitter rivalries behind the scenes at one of Russia's greatest cultural institutions.