68 Facts About Rudolf Nureyev


Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Soviet-born ballet dancer and choreographer.


Rudolf Nureyev was born on a Trans-Siberian train near Irkutsk, Siberia, Soviet Union, to a Tatar family.


Rudolf Nureyev began his early career with the company that in the Soviet era was called the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad.


Rudolf Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him.


Rudolf Nureyev went on to dance with The Royal Ballet in London and from 1983 to 1989 served as director of the Paris Opera Ballet.


Rudolf Nureyev was a choreographer serving as the chief choreographer of the Paris Opera Ballet.


Rudolf Nureyev produced his own interpretations of numerous classical works, including Swan Lake, Giselle and La Bayadere.


Rudolf Nureyev's mother, Farida Agliullovna Nureyeva, was born in the village of Tatarskoye Tyugulbaevo, Kuznechikhinsky volost, Kazan Governorate.


Rudolf Nureyev was born on a Trans-Siberian train near Irkutsk, Siberia, while his mother Farida was travelling to Vladivostok, where his father Khamet, a Red Army political commissar, was stationed.


Rudolf Nureyev was raised as the only son with three older sisters in a Tatar Muslim family.


Rudolf Nureyev moved immediately beyond the corps level, and was given solo roles as a principal dancer from the outset.


Rudolf Nureyev regularly partnered with Natalia Dudinskaya, the company's senior ballerina and wife of its director, Konstantin Sergeyev.


In one memorable incident, Rudolf Nureyev interrupted a performance of Don Quixote for 40 minutes, insisting on dancing in tights and not in the customary trousers.


Rudolf Nureyev relented in the end, but his preferred dress code was adopted in later performances.


Rudolf Nureyev wore a white sash over an ultramarine costume, had large wild eyes and hollow cheeks under a turban topped with a spray of feathers, bulging thighs, immaculate tights.


Rudolf Nureyev was seen to have broken the rules about mingling with foreigners and allegedly frequented gay bars in Paris, which alarmed the Kirov's management and the KGB agents observing him.


Rudolf Nureyev refused again, believing that on return to the USSR he was likely to be imprisoned.


Rudolf Nureyev stayed with the Royal Ballet until 1970, when he was promoted to Principal Guest Artist, enabling him to concentrate on his increasing schedule of international guest appearances and tours.


Rudolf Nureyev continued to perform regularly with The Royal Ballet until committing his future to the Paris Opera Ballet in the 1980s.


Rudolf Nureyev danced Poeme Tragique, a solo choreographed by Frederick Ashton, and the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake.


On 11 July 1967, Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, after performing in San Francisco, were arrested on nearby roofs, having fled during a police raid on a home in the Haight-Ashbury district.


In 1975 Rudolf Nureyev worked extensively with American Ballet Theatre resurrecting Le Corsaire with Gelsey Kirkland.


Rudolf Nureyev recreated Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Ramonda with Cynthia Gregory.


In January 1982, Austria granted Rudolf Nureyev citizenship, ending more than twenty years of statelessness.


Rudolf Nureyev remained there as a dancer and chief choreographer until 1989.


Rudolf Nureyev's artistic directorship of the Paris Opera Ballet was a great success, lifting the company out of a dark period.


Rudolf Nureyev's The Sleeping Beauty remains in the repertoire and was revived and filmed with his protege Manuel Legris in the lead.


Rudolf Nureyev's own Romeo and Juliet was a popular success.


Rudolf Nureyev began a marked decline only in the summer of 1991 and entered the final phase of the disease in the spring of 1992.


Rudolf Nureyev did so and was elated at the reception.


In July 1992, Rudolf Nureyev showed renewed signs of pericarditis but determined to forswear further treatment.


Rudolf Nureyev had managed to obtain a photocopy of Ludwig Minkus' original score when in Russia in 1989.


Rudolf Nureyev re-entered the hospital Notre Dame du Perpetuel Secours in Levallois-Perret on 20 November 1992 and remained there until his death from AIDS complications at age 54 on 6 January 1993.


Rudolf Nureyev's funeral was held in the marble foyer of the Paris Garnier Opera House.


Rudolf Nureyev was an avid collector of beautiful carpets and antique textiles.


Rudolf Nureyev's name was re-entered in the history of the Mariinsky, even though he danced there for only three years.


Peers of Rudolf Nureyev who speak about and remember him, like Mikhail Baryshnikov, are often deeply touched.


On 7 November 2018, a monument honouring Rudolf Nureyev was unveiled at the square near the Musa Calil Tatar Academic Opera and Ballet Theater in Kazan.


Yvette Chauvire of the Paris Opera Ballet often danced with Rudolf Nureyev; he described her as a "legend".


Rudolf Nureyev once said of Fonteyn, who was 19 years older than him, that they danced with "one body, one soul".


Rudolf Nureyev was above all a stickler for classical technique, and his mastery of it made him a model for an entire generation of dancers.


Today it is normal for dancers to receive training in both styles, but Rudolf Nureyev was the originator and excelled in modern and classical dance.


Rudolf Nureyev went out of his way to work with modern dance great, Martha Graham, and she created a work specially for him.


Rudolf Nureyev personified the school of life for a dancer.


Mikhail Baryshnikov, the other great dancer who like Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West, holds Rudolf Nureyev in high regard.


Baryshnikov said in an interview that Rudolf Nureyev was an unusual man in all respects, instinctive, intelligence, constant curiosity, and extraordinary discipline, that was his goal of life and of course love in performing.


Rudolf Nureyev had a late start to ballet and had to perfect his technique to be a success.


John Tooley wrote that Rudolf Nureyev grew up very poor and had to make up for three to five years in ballet education at a high-level ballet school, giving him a decisive impetus to acquire the maximum of technical skills and to become the best dancer working on perfection during his whole career.


The challenge for all dancers whom Rudolf Nureyev worked with was to follow suit and to share his total commitment for dance.


Rudolf Nureyev was a contemporary of Vladimir Vasiliev, who was the premiere dancer at the Bolshoi.


Later, Rudolf Nureyev was a predecessor to Mikhail Baryshnikov at the Kirov Ballet, now the Mariinsky Theater.


Unlike Vasiliev and Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nureyev did not build his reputation on success in international ballet competitions, but rather through his performances and popular image.


Rudolf Nureyev did not have much patience with rules, limitations and hierarchical order and had at times a volatile temper.


Rudolf Nureyev was apt to throw tantrums in public when frustrated.


Rudolf Nureyev socialised with Gore Vidal, Freddie Mercury, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Mick Jagger, Liza Minnelli, Andy Warhol, Lee Radziwill and Talitha Pol, Jessye Norman, Tamara Toumanova and occasionally visited the New York discotheque Studio 54 in the late 1970s, but developed an intolerance for celebrities.


Rudolf Nureyev kept up old friendships in and out of the ballet world for decades, and was considered to be a loyal and generous friend.


Rudolf Nureyev was known as extremely generous to many ballerinas, who credit him with helping them during difficult times.


Rudolf Nureyev had a turbulent personal life, with numerous bathhouse visits and anonymous pick-ups.


Rudolf Nureyev met Erik Bruhn, the celebrated Danish dancer, after Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West in 1961.


Rudolf Nureyev was a great admirer of Bruhn, having seen filmed performances of the Dane on tour in the Soviet Union with the American Ballet Theatre; although stylistically the two dancers were very different.


Bruhn and Rudolf Nureyev became a couple and the two remained together on and off, with a very volatile relationship for 25 years, until Bruhn's death in 1986.


In 1978, Rudolf Nureyev met the 23-year-old American dancer and classical arts student Robert Tracy and a two-and-a-half-year love affair began.


In 1962, Rudolf Nureyev made his screen debut in a film version of Les Sylphides.


Rudolf Nureyev decided against an acting career to branch into modern dance with the Dutch National Ballet in 1968.


Rudolf Nureyev made his debut in 1962 on network television in America partnered with Maria Tallchief dancing the pas de deux from August Bournonville's Flower Festival in Genzano on the Bell Telephone Hour.


In 1972, Rudolf Nureyev was a guest in David Winters' television special The Special London Bridge Special.


In 1977, Rudolf Nureyev played Rudolph Valentino in Ken Russell's film Valentino.


Rudolf Nureyev's appearance is credited with making Jim Henson's series become one of the most sought after programs to appear in.