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Bolshoi Theater admits censoring performances if creator condemns invasion

by Elsa Court September 14, 2023 4:49 PM 1 min read
A man next to a banner showing Z and V letters - tactical insignias of Russian troops in Ukraine and reading "We'll Fulfil the Task!" on the administrative building of Bolshoi Theatre in central Moscow on Sept. 2, 2022. (Photo by ALEXANDER NEMENOV/AFP via Getty Images)
This audio is created with AI assistance

The director of Moscow's Bolshoi Theater, Vladimir Urin, admitted in an interview that directors who have spoken out against the Russian invasion of Ukraine are removed from the theater's repertoire, Russian independent media outlet Meduza reported on Sept. 14.

Urin was discussing the opera and ballet peformances the Bolshoi produces in an interview with Russian state newspaper Rossiyskaya Gazeta.

While some performances no longer are staged for legal reasons, as the license has run out and cannot be renewed, others are specifically cancelled because the creator spoke out against Russia's invasion.

Urin claimed that he could not allow them to be performed as they would cause "a very serious negative reaction."

In these cases, the names of the creators of the performances have "disappeared from the posters," according to the director.

Though Russian society "is now truly polarized," Urin alleges there has been no change "in terms of interest in the theater or the occupancy of the auditorium."

In fact, the audience now has a "more energetic" response to the shows in light of the current "socio-political situation," he claimed.

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Over 500 spectators of the Odesa National Academic Opera and Ballet Theater stood in a deep silence before the start of a performance of the “La Bayadere” ballet in late April. Some of them had tears in their eyes. The audience was commemorating the opera’s late ballet dancer, Rostyslav Yanchyshen…
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