New Report Says Bolshoi Canceled Nureyev Ballet for 'Gay Propaganda'

Rudolph Nureyev

Last week, Russia's Bolshoi Ballet reported that it would postpone its upcoming performance of a brand new ballet entitled "Nureyev", based on the life of famed ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev, who defected from Russia in 1961.

Well, the scandal just keeps getting more complicated. Russia's TASS news agency, which is run by the state, has cited an unidentified source that claimed that Russia's Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky gave the show the boot because it may push "gay propaganda."

A law that was passed in 2013 bans the spread of "propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" to minors. Several images and videos from the show have been leaked, alongside interviews with individuals linked to the production, have hinted that it may contain nudity, transvestites, and the topic of Nureyev's homosexuality.

The original announcement from TASS that stated the production would be postponed has been deleted, and replaced with a new article that does not state that Culture Minister Medinsky was involved. Instead, the report states that Medinsky "supported" the Bolshoi's decision to cancel the production. The minister is quoted as saying "this didn't happen. We don't interfere in repertory politics and don't engage in censorship."

This announcement has fueled the fire of controversy already surrounding the show, as critics from the Western dance world, as well as dancers among the Bolshoi.

Stay tuned.

This Tiler Peck Music Vid Will Start Your Weekend Right

Tiler Peck in "Medicine Man" by Charlotte OC

If your week has been anything like ours, it's been a doozy. Well, the good news is, it's the weekend! And we here at DancePlug are here to make sure you start it off on a good note - with a little help from this stunning vid.

You probably know Tiler Peck - New York City Ballet principal dancer, goddess extraordinaire. And if you haven't had the chance to see her dance live, don't worry! A new music video by Charlotte OC dropped this week.  It's called "Medicine Man," and it's literally just 3 minutes and 51 seconds of Tiler doing what she does best - being the ballerina we all wanted to be when we were growing up.

Haven't heard of Charlotte OC until now? Yeah, us either. She's a British singer-songwriter with some pretty seriously soulful vocal chops. You can check out more of her music on her website.

Bonus: the choreography for "Medicine Man" was done by Christopher Wheedon, who (fun fact) also choreographed An American in Paris on Broadway.

Take a look to get a little inspiration to help you leap into the weekend!

The Red Shoes are Dancing Towards You

Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes

English choreographer Matthew Bourne is widely beloved for his adaptations of classic stories - Swan Lake, The Nutcracker. And now, he's done it again, tackling the iconic story of "The Red Shoes."

The work is an adaptation of the 1948 dance film that's based on a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale. The story is a fanciful tale about a ballerina who joins a company and becomes the lead in a ballet called "The Red Shoes" (tbh, it's kind of like ballet-ception). She becomes caught up in whirlwind romances and the emotionally destructive power of the red shoes. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say, it's a little less than happy.

Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes.© Dave Morgan.
Ashley Shaw in Matthew Bourne's The Red Shoes. © Dave Morgan

Bourne's version, which premiered in England in the fall of 2016, earned two Olivier awards in London (equivalent to a Tony Award) and was widely acclaimed by critics. Now, the show is preparing for a North American tour, which will make stops in Los Angeles, New York City, Washington DC, and North Carolina.

The North American touring cast features some names you might recognize. New York City Ballet principal Sara Mearns will perform the lead role of Victoria Page while the show is in NYC, and American Ballet Theater principal Marcelo Gomes will play lead male character Julian Craster for the entire tour.

Bolshoi Ballet Cancels Highly Anticipated Nureyev Ballet

Bolshoi Ballet Cancels Highly Anticipated Nureyev Ballet

The Bolshoi Ballet has announced that they will not be premiering their newest work, "Nureyev," next week. The new highly anticipated work centers around famed ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, who defected from the Soviet Union in the Cold War, became an international ballet star, then passed away tragically at the age of 54.

The reasoning for the cancellation is still unknown at this time; however, many are speculating it is related to the director of the ballet company, Kirill Serebrennikov, who was recently involved in an investigation surrounding alleged embezzlement of state arts funding. There are also reports that the ballet may depict people who are still living and operating in the public eye.

Bolshoi Ballet Cancels Highly Anticipated Nureyev Ballet
Rudolf Nureyev

Serebrennikov, the director of the Bolshoi, has been quite vocal in his criticism of both Russian authorities and the increase of censorship of the arts in the country. Some of his supporters claim that the cancellation has occurred for political reasons.

The Bolshoi has reportedly stated that the premiere of the work has not be canceled, but simply postponed until later, when it will be ready to run. In the meantime, Don Quixote will be performed on several of the nights originally scheduled for Nureyev.