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 Rudolf Nureyev

Born:   March 17, 1938
Deceased:   January 6, 1993

Soviet and British ballet dancer, great dancer and ballet master


The name of Rudolf Nureyev became a peculiar symbol in the history of ballet. He was one of those who continued traditions of Vaslav Nijinsky and achieved that the dancer came to be considered not just the partner of a ballerina, but a full-fledged participant of the performance, capable to create an independent stage image. He devoted all his life to ballet art and even left his homeland in order to implement all his creative aspirations.
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was born on March 17, 1938 in a train that was taking his mother Fareeda and his little sisters to the Far East to the duty station of his father – a political instructor of the Soviet Army. According to memoirs of his mother and sisters, at the time of Rudolf birth they were approaching Irkutsk.
In July, 1939 the family moved to Moscow, and later during the war had to be evacuated to Ufa, where little Rudolf took his first dance classes.
Acquaintance with folk dances in the kindergarten and performances as a part of an amateur children's ensemble became the first steps of the up-coming great ballet master.
In 1949 Rudolf started attending a dancing studio of the Teacher's Club under the leadership of Anna Ivanovna Udaltsova (a former dancer of the Mariinsky Theater).
In 1953 he entered a ballet school at the Ufa Opera Theater and got employed as a supernumerary, but later managed to raise his rank to the dancer.
On August 25, 1955 Rudolf Nureyev entered Vaganov School, where he then studied for 3 years in the class of the remarkable teacher Alexander Ivanovich Pushkin.
In April, 1958 of Rudolf Nureyev brilliantly took the stage at the All-Union Competition of Ballet Student in Moscow. He successfully passed his final exams in June of the same year and became a soloist of the Kirov Theater. 

On June 17, 1961 during touring of the Kirov Theater in Paris Rudolf Nureyev made a decision to remain in the West, where his career developed quite successfully.
He started his work in the Royal Ballet in London and very quickly gained world fame. Being a star of the London Royal ballet for more than 15 years, Nureyev was a constant partner of the great English ballerina Margot Fonteyn. He also performed worldwide (in Europe, the USA, Japan, Australia, etc.) a lot.
In 1983-1989 Nureev was the director of the ballet troupe of Paris Grand Opera. He participated in classical and modern ballet stage productions, and repeatedly took the stage together with Yvette Chauvire. Also he appeared in cinema and on television a lot, staged classical ballets, and in the last years of his life acted as a conductor.
Rudolf Nureyev died of AIDS on January 6, 1993 in Paris. He was laid to rest on the Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois Cemetery. 
A memorial board in honor of Rudolf Nureyev was set up in Irkutsk. 
Rudolf Nureyev International Ballet Art Festival is annually held in Ufa. The Bashkir State Opera and Ballet Theater and the Bashkir Choreographic School in Ufa are named after him.
Rudolf Nureyev International Classical Ballet has been held annually on the stage of the Mussa Jalil Tatar Academic State Opera and Ballet Theater in Kazan since 1987. The festival was named after the dancer with a personal consent of Rudolf Nureyev, who visited Kazan in 1992.

Tags: Rudolf Nureyev Mariinsky Theater    

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