A ballet celebrating the life of dancer Rudolf Nureyev has been postponed amidst allegations that the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow has bowed to pressure from the Kremlin.
The ballet includes a frank portrayal of the gay relationships of the dancer, who defected from the then Soviet Union in 1961, as well as his death from AIDS-related illness in 1993.
In 2013 the Kremlin passed a law prohibiting anything which could be seen as “homosexual propaganda”.
However, Vladimir G. Urin, general director of the Bolshoi, said to a news conference on Monday that he had postponed the ballet just three days before its planned premier because he felt the choreography still needed work done on it.
“There will be reputational damage for canceling, but for us the quality of the production was paramount,” he said.
In a statement the Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky denied that the Kremlin had put any pressure on the Bolshoi to cancel or postpone the production.