Free the Director: Power and Protest at the Bolshoi Premiere of Nureyev.
In this talk, Billington and Center for Ballet and the Arts Fellow Natalie Rouland will discuss the premiere on 9 December 2017 of the Bolshoi Ballet Nureyev, based on the life of the celebrated Soviet defector Rudolph Nureyev. With the internationally-renowned director Kirill Serebrennikov under house arrest, the controversial ballet faced allegations of “gay propaganda” that led to its delayed production and closed after two performances. Rouland will consider how this genre-breaking tour de force transcended taboos and concluded with an unprecedented onstage protest to “free the director” in a curtain call witnessed around the world.
Dr. Natalie Rouland is a scholar of Russian literature, culture, and performing arts, Rouland is currently completing her first book Power on Pointe: Imperial Ballet and Russian Literature from Petersburg to Paris. She has taught Russian literature, language, and film courses at Wellesley College, Miami University, and Stanford University. A past recipient of the Kluge Fellowship at the Library of Congress, the Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in St. Petersburg, the Geballe Fellowship at the Stanford Humanities Center, the Knafel Traveling Fellowship, and the IIE Fulbright Fellowship in Moscow, Rouland holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.