MOSCOW: Ousted Bolshoi ballet star Nikolai Tsiskaridze said in graphic court testimony Monday that deep personal rivalries were behind the vicious acid attack against the troupe’s venerable artistic director. One of Russia’s most cherished cultural institutions has been riven by controversy ever since an assailant splashed a mixture of urine and acid in the face of Sergei Filin outside his Moscow apartment block on January 17. The assault nearly blinded the 43-year-old former dancer while fuelling a string of public scandals that led to the ouster of Bolshoi director Anatoly Iksanov and the dismissal of Tsiskaridze.–SS