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Bolshoy Theater drops ‘Nureyev’ ballet from repertoire, bending to Russia’s anti-LGBT censorship law
Moscow’s Bolshoy Theater has permanently canceled Kirill Serebrennikov’s production of “Nureyev,” a ballet celebrating the Soviet-born star dancer and choreographer. The production has now been dropped from Bolshoy’s repertoire.
The theater’s General Manager Vladimir Urin explained the decision as a response to Russia’s new law against the so-called “LGBT propaganda,” which effectively introduced ani-LGBT censorship into all facets of Russian life at the end of last year.
“It’s only natural that, once the bill was signed into law, the theater made a decision to cancel this show,” Urin told TASS.
Last year, Bolshoy had canceled the show’s May performances and removed Kirill Serebrennikov’s name from the production’s Web page and playbills, in connection with Serebrennikov’s criticisms of the Russian aggression in Ukraine.
“Nureyev” had a troubled history at the Bolshoy from the moment of its premier in 2017, postponed by direct order from Russia’s Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky. TASS reported at the time, citing an informed source, that Medinsky had spotted “gay propaganda” in the show. The minister himself denied having ever expressed this opinion.
Rudolf Nureyev defected from the USSR to France in 1961. For the final 14 years of his life, he was in a committed (though open) relationship with the American dancer and historian Robert Tracy. Nureyev died of AIDS complications in 1993.
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