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Bolshoi Shuffle After Erotic Scandal

The Bolshoi ballet troupe has named the company's long-standing soloist Yan Godovsky as its new director after an erotic picture scandal engulfed his predecessor.

Last week, an anonymous letter was sent out to hundreds of electronic addresses with a link to a web site displaying erotic photographs of a person resembling Gennady Yanin, the ballet's previous director, Izvestia reported.

"The theater's general director Anatoly Iksanov appointed Yan Godovsky to the position of the ballet troupe director yesterday after Yanin filed for voluntary leave," Bolshoi spokeswoman Katerina Novikova said.

Godovsky, the Bolshoi's leading soloist in his 18th season, will hold the position until the end of the 2011 season.

The hiring system of the Bolshoi only allows one-season contracts, which can later be extended or given to a replacement. "It is unexpected for me. I kept refusing, but they kept asking me to take the position," Godovsky said, laughing. "It's definitely an upgrade for me."

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