Rudolf Nureyev| Creator of a new role for male ballet dancers

One of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century,Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev's artistic skills explored the expressive areas of the dance form,providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as the support the woman.

          Nureyev was born on 17th March,19,1938 on a Trans-siberin train near Irkutsk,Siberia,Soviet Union,while his mother Feride was travelling to Vladivostok,where his father Hamit,a Red Army political commissar,was stationed.When his mother took him and his sisters into a performance of the ballet "Song of the Cranes",he fell in love with dance. Nureyev was auditioned for the bolshoi ballet company and was accepted.

          By the late 1950s,Nureyev had beocme a sensation in the Soviet Union. Yet,as the Kirov Ballet was preparing to go on a European tour,Nureyev's rebellious character and a non-conformist attitude quickly made him the unlikely candidate for a trip to the West,which was to be of crucial importance to the the Soviet government's ambitions to portray their cultural supermacy. However,in 1961,the Kirov's leading male dancer,Konstanin Sergeyev,was injured,and Nureyev was chosen to replace him on the Kirov's European tour.In paris,his performances electrified audiences electrified audiences and critics.

         Nureyev was seen to have broken the rules about mingling with foreigners,which alarmed the Kirov's management.The KGB wanted to send him back to the Soviet Union immediately. As a subterfuge,they told him that he would not travel with the company to London to continune the tour because he was needed to dance at a special performance in the Kremlin.When that didn't work they told him his mother had fallen severely ill and he needed to come home immediately to see her. He knew these were lies and believed that if he returned to the USSR,he would likely be imprisoned because KGB agents had been investing him.

          On 16 June 1961at the Le Bourget Airport in Paris,Rudolf Nureyev defected with the help of French police and Parisian socilite friend Clara Saint.According to KGB archives studied by Peter Wastson,Nikita Khrushchev Personally signed an order to have Nureyev killed.Within a week,he was signed up by the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas and was performing the Sleeping Beauty with Nina Vyroubova. On a tour of Denmark he met Erik Bruhn,soloist at the Royal Danish Ballet who became his lover,his clouset friend and his protector until Bruhn's death in 1986.

          He was tested positive for HIV in 1984,but for several years he simply denied that anything was wrong with his health.Nureyev began a marked decline only in the summer of 1991 and entered the final phase of the disease in the spring of 1992.

          He died from carediac complication a few months later,aged 54. His funeral was held in the marble foyer of the Paris Garnier Opera House.Nureyev's grave,at a Russian cemetery in Sainte Genevieve-des-Bois near Paris,features a tomb draped in a mosaic of an oriental carpet.


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