Anyone who doubts that the Bolshoi Ballet’s American summer tour had as much to do with politics and hype as it did with Art had only to peruse the opening paragraph of the “Greeting” from Bruce Crawford, general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, that prefaced the lavishly produced souvenir program:

Pride and enormous satisfaction are felt at the Metropolitan Opera as the Bolshoi Ballet, one of the glories of the dance world, returns to the United States after far too long an absence. The company’s visit comes at an historic moment—just as our countries reach new agreements and understanding. Through the arts, the universal language, all people are one people, and through programs of cultural exchange, our knowledge of others, as well as of ourselves, grows richer, more precise, more profound.

What amazes and disturbs in Crawford’s statement is not so much what is said...

 
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