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Bolshoi Theater announces Nureyev ballet premiere in early December

The ballet's artistic director Kirill Serebrennikov was detained in St. Petersburg on August 22 on suspicion of embezzlement
Bolshoi Theater  Sergei Fadeichev/TASS
Bolshoi Theater
© Sergei Fadeichev/TASS

MOSCOW, September 22. /TASS/. Russia’s Bolshoi Theater announced on Friday that the world premiere of Kirill Serebrennikov’s Nureyev ballet will take place on December 9-10.

The ballet about Rudolf Nureyev (1939-1993), one of world's most gifted male dancers, who defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, was scheduled for July 11. However, the Bolshoi canceled the premiere of the biographical show saying it was “not ready.”  

“The decision on the Nureyev ballet’s premiere, which will be performed at the historic stage on December 9 and 10, was made after a meeting with director Kirill Serebrennikov,” Director General of the Bolshoi Theater Vladimir Urin told TASS.

Serebrennikov, the artistic director of Moscow’s Gogol Center theater, who is currently under house arrest on charges of alleged embezzlement of state arts funding, has endorsed the premiere on the announced dates, Urin said.

In early September, Urin told TASS he would ask the Investigative Committee for a meeting with Serebrennikov. The ballet’s fate would depend on his decision: the director should either give go-ahead for the performance without him or wait until the end of the judicial proceedings.

“Kirill Serebrennikov understands that while investigation is ongoing and he is under house arrest, his presence at the Nureyev premiere is most likely unreal during the date that we discussed, namely December,” Urin said.

The director allowed choreographer Yuri Posokhov to work on the premiere “if the situation with his detention was not solved,” he added. “If Kirill Serebrennikov is freed from house arrest, we will be glad if he prepares Nureyev for the premiere.”

Serebrennikov was detained in St. Petersburg on August 22 on suspicion of embezzling 68 mln rubles ($1.1mln) earmarked in 2011-2014 to implement the Platforma contemporary culture project. He was charged with embezzlement while Moscow’s Basmanny Court placed him under house arrest until October 19 on the request of the Investigative Committee. Serebrennikov was not allowed to visit the theater.