Science

Bolshoi risks damaging its reputation after rescheduling Nureyev ballet - director

Bolshoi risks damaging its reputation after rescheduling Nureyev ballet - director”

The Bolshoi Theatre has postponed the world premiere of Nureyev, a ballet about famous Russian dancer, weeks after its director Kirill Serebrennikov was questioned as a witness in a fraud investigation.

In 2015 prosecutors requestioned a probe into seven of his productions for possible breaches of pornography laws, and Russia's culture minister Vladimir Medinsky denounced his adaptations of classics.

Serebrennikov was recently detained and questioned by investigators over the embezzlement of government funds.

Bolshoi made the announcement on Saturday, saying that Tuesday's premiere has been cancelled.

It is based on the life story of Nureyev, the superstar dancer who defected from the Soviet Union and found new fame in the West before dying from an Aids-related illness in 1993 at age 53.

One of Russia's most innovative and successful directors, he had previously staged a ballet based on Mikhail Lermontov's Hero Of Our Time at the Bolshoi.

Urin said he took the decision to postpone the show having seen a dress rehearsal on Friday and deciding that it would not be artistically ready in time. His supporters called the raid a politically motivated attack on the independence of the arts.

The biographical show based on the life of world renowned dancer Rudolf Nureyev was one of the most eagerly anticipated performances of the season, with Tatiana Kuznetsova, a ballet critic, describing it in Kommersant newspaper as "the main event of the ballet season in Russian Federation, and possibly the world".

Speaking to journalists Monday, Bolshoi director Vladimir Urin denied reports that the show had been scrapped because of its frank portrayal of Nureyev's gay relationships.

Serebrennikov is an outspoken critic of President Vladimir Putin and the Gogol Theater has come under fire from conservative commentators for staging controversial plays that push the limits of public taste in Russian Federation.



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