Bolshoi Ballet About Rudolf Nureyev Cancelled After Being Classified as ‘Gay Propaganda’

Bolshoi Ballet About Rudolf Nureyev Cancelled After Being Classified as ‘Gay Propaganda’

Following Russia’s ban on LGBTQ propaganda, Moscow’s Bolshoi theatre has cancelled a performance tribute to famed Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. 

According to The Guardian, the show “has had a troubled history in Russia, where President Vladimir Putin has long promoted conservative values as part of a nationalist agenda backed by the Russian Orthodox Church.” 

In November, Russia passed a bill prohibiting the spread of LGBTQ propaganda classifying any positive depictions of ‘non-traditional values’ similarly to promotions of violence, pornography, or racial and religious violence and more. 

Not only does the bill affect theatrical works, but it also bans classic Russian literature and film. The Moscow Times reports that iconic films like Brokeback Mountain and Call Me By Your Name have been barred from public streaming services, and works from famous authors, including Virginia Woolf and Truman Capote, are to be removed from libraries.

Rudolf Nureyev was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer known by many as one of the greatest ballet dancers of all time. In his career, Nureyev danced with the Royal Ballet, directed the Paris Opera Ballet, and guest starred in performances with some of the world’s best ballet companies. 

The show honoring his life, choreographed by Kirill Serebrennikov, was first performed in 2017 and depicts not only Nureyev’s professional life, but his romantic relationships with other men. This ballet has not seen the stage in Russia since 2021. 

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