Teatro Arcimboldi Milan, where Sergei Polunin was due to have danced two performances of his dance work based on the story of Rasputin, has cancelled the performances. The cancellation was made necessary, in agreement with the company, due to the pressing social and web mobilization during the past few weeks against the artist’s performance.
The management of TAM wishes to clarify that it is not a question of a cultural sphere decision, but of social responsibility: in a climate of tension and threats we consider it difficult to sustain our artistic choices, whose values of pacifism and tolerance are inherent in the very programming of the theatre, which has already stood up against the atrocities of war by hosting the Dance for Peace Gala in April 2022.
Famous dancer Sergei Polunin is coming to Romania for the first time as a special guest at TIFF 2021
Sergei Polunin was due to have danced two performances of his dance work based on the story of Rasputin
In recent months Polunin has often said that he supports the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For this reason, many had asked for the cancellation of the show at the Teatro degli Arcimboldi, which was originally supposed to be represented in 2019 but which was then postponed to 28 and 29 January 2023 due to the pandemic.
For the Milan show, 3,500 tickets had already been sold, which will be reimbursed in the coming days. Regarding the controversy over Polunin’s show and the subsequent decision to cancel it, the theater said in a statement that «in a climate of tension and threats we find it difficult to sustain our artistic choices, whose values of pacifism and tolerance are inherent in programming itself of the theatre, which has already taken sides against the atrocities of war by hosting the Dance Gala for Peace in April 2022″.
Polunin had already been heavily criticized in the past for some of his statements. In 2019 he was supposed to perform in the Swan Lake at the Paris Opéra, but his participation was canceled due to some of his posts with homophobic and sexist content published on social networks.