The Angels That Understand (Their Place in A Man's World) (Satire)
In 2003 tATu came out to the world by kissing after singing "All the Things She Said."
This video (above) was a promo for reality show "t.A.T.u. Under The Heaven" which came out in 2008.
After twelve years of existence, which is a long time for two young teenagers named Julian Volkova and Lena Katina, they grew up working as the girl group since 1999 and it went on hiatus in 2011.
However, the sexism inherent in Russian society is also contained in this short clip from six years ago.
Here is how the reality show "t.A.T.u. Under the Heaven" was introduced to the world:
Лучшее качество девочек — покорность.
Девочкам запрещается проявлять физическую силу.
Они не имеют права заниматься боевыми искусствами и брать в руки оружие.
Когда девочек бьют, они не должны стонать и жаловаться на боль.
The best quality in girls is obedience.
Girls are forbidden from expressing physical strength.
They do not have the right to engage in martial arts or hold weapons.
When girls are beaten they must not make any noise or complain about the pain.
It is apparent that this reality show was the last chance to grab more fame from controversy before moving on.
Back in 2004, both Julia and Lena came out and said they were coached by their manager to pretend to be lesbian to appeal to the world.
Given the power and influence of the Russian Orthodox Church, it is doubtful they were ever lesbian. This was a gimmick by their manager using the forbidden to appeal both domestically and globally. Both women are heterosexual, though Julia is consider to be bisexual due to her admission that she "still likes boys and girls".
When t.A.T.u was disbanded in 2011 with the previous seven years under scrutiny, including their proposed "Show Me Love" tour in the UK which canceled due to poor ticket sales in 2002, both women launched solo careers. It turned out the poor tickets sales was due to a parental advisory based on the belief that the girls' sexual image were inappropriate.
Having gone solo since 2008, Julia Volkova created her genre Sex Rock, and both Lena and her were based in LA for a bit but often return to Russia for tATu gigs and promos for their brands. Later Julia based herself in Moscow.
After breaking up Lena has admitted going to a shrink to recover from the 12 years of performing in tATu. I can't blame her.
In 2012 Lena moved to LA to reboot her career.
After Lena was being managed by Tristam Buckley from 2012 to 2013, the Tatu management team returned. Buckley helped reboot Lena's solo career which had gone down the tubes due to mismanagement in the year since t.A.T.u officially went into hiatus in 2011.
In 2013 Buckley sued for his share of the t.A.T.u. pie.
As of now, the new t.A.T.u, which began in December 2012, consists of small concerts they do and also product endorsement. However, the concerts they do ares not the biggest part of their lives due to being solo artists.
They also have their own lives to live. Julia has two kids from two relationships and converted to Islam because her second boyfriend is a Persian-Russian businessman, and Lena just got married in 2013 to a Russian musician.
Because the old t.A.T.u. concerts were a part of grueling tours, I can certainly understand why they are reluctant to dedicate all of their time to t.A.T.u.
Their solo careers have only begun.
As far as genre goes, Julia does Europop, Pop and Rock. Lena is definitely Rock.
However, these two angels of tATu will never be forgotten. These angels that understood their place in a man's world live on.
After Putin approved the anti-gay law, which forbids the practice of homosexuality in public, Rolling Stones Russia interviewed Lena Katina. During the interview they shared three bottles of wine. Lena jokingly admits to being an alcoholic. However, drinking is a big part of Russian culture along with big parties during birthdays and holidays, even on weekends.
Lena admits to not being particularly interested in politics back in Moscow, and loves the fact that American television filters out most of the "demonstrations, arrests, fights with the Special Purpose Mobile Unit" happening back home.
While she was not in touch with Julia after she moved back to Moscow almost two years before this interview, she's fine with that. As well, she holds no grudge against Ivan, the man who created t.A.T.u. and their fey-gay persona while performing.
Even though the lesbianism was all an act, I got the feeling after reading the interview, that to them, t.A.T.u was just as much performance art as it was a musical act.
Indeed, I am pretty sure it is the same with Pussy Riot, who may have inspired Putin to sign the anti-gay law due to the fact that none of the members of that musical act had boyfriends because they were ardent feminists too busy with their political performance art. It would be interesting for Rolling Stones Russia to interview Pussy Riot and ask them if t.A.T.u. inspired them in some way, too.
When asked if she and Julia would return to t.A.T.u., Lena denied it, saying that both she and Julia are very much into their solo careers. However, she never flat out said "Never."
As well, she described how Ivan had once took them to a drug den after the fame had gone to his head. Nothing like this shocked Lena Katina, who claims Ivan considered her to be the "conscience" of t.A.T.u. Such goings-on merely made her a little sad. In fact, she once fantasized becoming a famous psychotherapist who would counsel drug addicts for a living.
Well, after her beauty fades in her 40s and she becomes another dumpy babushka, Lena Katina the music star could become Elena Katina the psychotherapist in a world-famous rehab clinic for celebrities who want to kick their drugs habits.
tATu tumblr fansite, blog post for January 17, 2014: http://ta-tu.tumblr.com/post/73629164053
t.A.T.u. v Podnebesnoi (promo 4) for reality show "t.A.T.u. Under The Heaven" circa 2008:
T.A.T.u : http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/T.A.T.u.
Julia Volkova: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yulia_Volkova
Lena Katina: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lena Katina
t.A.T.u sued: http://www.tmz.com/2013/06/09/tatu-lena-katina-manager-lawsuit/
2012 interview of t.A.T.u: http://www.muumuse.com/2012/11/10-years-in-the-wrong-lane-an-interview-with-t-a-t-u.html/
Rolling Stones Russia interview: http://www.lenakatina.nl/rolling-stone.php