A juicy scandal in Russia’s Bolshoi Theatre premised on a gay censorship

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On July 8, 2017 the Bolshoi Theatre in Russian Federation announced that the premiere of a ballet, featuring famous gay dancer Rudolf Nureyev, has been cancelled just three days before the opening night.

Bolshoi director Vladimir Urin told reporters on July 10, 2017 that the production has been postponed until next year, saying the ballet wasn’t ready. The ballet about Nureyev, who defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, was directed by Kirill Serebrennikov, known for bold productions that poke fun at Russia’s growing social conservatism. In turn, Vladimir Urin denied reports that the show was scrapped because of its frank portrayal of Nureyev’s gay relationships.

It is rumored that The Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky had a “long, detailed telephone conversation” with the theatre’s director about Rudolf Nureyev and the ballet’s portrayal of homosexuality. While the Minister Medinsky denies his pressure on Russia’s legendary Bolshoi Theatre, there has been much discussion in Moscow’s art scene of the return to censorship.

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