Russia is turning inward. Isolation is a noble moral stance for President Vladimir Putin, especially from the west, whose nefarious influence is imagined to have forced Russia to invade Ukraine. The west no longer respects traditional values, according to Putin, and so Russia alone defends marriage and conservative principles.
Since politics have always influenced art in Russia, the nation’s great cultural institutions, which receive the bulk of their funding from the government, have also been expected to turn inward and promote official ideology. The reality is much more complicated, especially in the intrigue-filled world of Russian ballet. Strange as it might seem, the Bolshoi Ballet has been one of the more progressive companies in the world.
Photo credit: Turning inward: a rehearsal at the Bolshoi. Photo: Denis Sinyakov/Alamy