Friday, April 21, 2023

Russia's Bolshoi ballet drops 'Nureyev' for being too gay

Moscow's Bolshoi theatre has dropped a contemporary ballet about the legendary Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev from its repertoire following the expansion of a ban on "LGBT propaganda" law.

"'Nureyev' was removed from the repertoire in connection with the law ... where issues related to the promotion of 'non-traditional values' are stipulated absolutely unequivocally," Vladimir Urin, general director of the Bolshoi, told a news conference.

A law passed in November not only widened an existing prohibition on material considered to promote an LGBTQ lifestyle but also restricts the “demonstration” of LGBTQ behaviour.

This makes any portrayal of homosexuality, such as Nureyev’s relationships with men after his defection from the Soviet Union in 1961 which the ballet touches on, almost impossible.

The ballet, choreographed by Kirill Serebrennikov, has had a troubled history in Russia, where President Putin has long promoted conservative values as part of a nationalist agenda backed by the Russian Orthodox Church.

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