Boris Moiseyev, one of the most famous performers of the Soviet Union and Russia, died on Monday in Moscow at the age of 68. The cause of death was apparently a heart attack. Moiseyev had a major stroke in 2010, followed by what were described as several minor strokes in recent years. He retired from performing in 2015.
Moiseyev was born in a prison colony in Belarus where his mother was serving a sentence as a political dissident. He studied as a classical dancer at the Minsk Choreography Institute and worked as a dancer and then choreographer at the Kharkiv Opera Theater.
In 1978 he moved to Lithuania and danced with the Musical Theater in Kaunas before becoming the choreographer for the Trimitas Lithuanian Orchestra. He founded his own dance trio and performed in the Jurmala Variety Theater under Mark Gurman. There he was noticed by Alla Pugacheva, who invited him to join her show.
Moiseyev left Pugacheva in 1987 and began his solo career, touring Russia, the Baltic States, the CIS, Europe and the U.S. with his shows. In the U.S. he was the choreographer and director the New Orleans Theater, performed one of his shows on Broadway in 1998 and another at the Millennium Theater in 2006. In 2007 his show “Ladies and Gentlemen” was the season headliner at the State Kremlin Palace.
Moiseyev produced dozens of albums and music videos over the years, performed in more than 15 films and won several prestigious state awards, including the title of Merited Artist of Russia in 2006.
Over the years Moiseyev was very open about his sexuality, telling an interviewer in 2005, “Yes, that’s my color. So what? I don’t hide in ditches. I spend my time with interesting people. I have never hidden my orientation and in the past really suffered for it. But I can stand up for myself.” However, he joined the United Russia political party in 2003, spoke in favor of both Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev and against gay pride parades in Russia and same-sex marriages. He spoke in favor of adoption by gay couples.
Funeral plans have not yet been made public.
Below: Moiseyev's 1994 television production of "Child of Vice"