Nureyev, Rudolf Hametovich


Nureyev, Rudolf Hametovich
▪ 1994

      Soviet-born ballet dancer (b. March 17, 1938, near Irkutsk, Russian S.F.S.R., U.S.S.R.—d. Jan. 6, 1993, Paris, France), was one of the most celebrated dancers of the 20th century and the first male superstar of the ballet world since Vaslav Nijinsky. He mesmerized audiences with spectacular leaps and turns, but it was his passionate temperament and flamboyance onstage and off that made him a phenomenon. Nureyev, who was of Tatar descent, was reared in Moscow and Ufa, where he studied dance and apprenticed with the Ufa Ballet. He was an outstanding but rebellious student at the Leningrad Ballet School from 1955 to 1958, when he bypassed the corps de ballet and graduated directly to solo roles with the Kirov Ballet. Three years later, on June 17, 1961, while on tour with the Kirov in Paris, he eluded Soviet security guards and requested asylum from officials at Le Bourget airport. In the following months he performed in Paris, New York City, London, and Chicago, but he reached a turning point in 1962 when he partnered the British Royal Ballet's acclaimed ballerina Margot Fonteyn, who was 19 years his senior. Nureyev's fiery virtuosity proved to be a perfect counterpoint to Fonteyn's elegant maturity, and their long partnership rejuvenated her career and established his. Despite his association with the Royal Ballet as a "permanent guest artist" for 20 years, Nureyev was not formally affiliated with the dance company. He worked as a guest artist around the world, both as a dancer and later as a choreographer. He was equally admired in classical and modern works, including Giselle, Swan Lake, Le Corsair, La Bayadère, Marguerite and Armand, Romeo and Juliet, Don Quixote, and Lucifer, which was choreographed for him and Fonteyn by Martha Graham in 1975. In the 1970s Nureyev branched into other performing arts. He appeared on television and in motion pictures, notably Valentino (1977), in which he played the legendary silent-film star. He also toured the U.S. as the King of Siam in a revival of the Broadway musical The King and I, and he even tried his hand at conducting. Although he became an Austrian citizen in 1982, he lived mainly in Paris, where he was director (1983-89) and principal choreographer (1989-92) of the Paris Opéra Ballet. In 1989 he danced in the Soviet Union (with the Kirov) for the first time since his defection. Nureyev made his last public appearance in October 1992, taking a bow at the Paris premiere of his new production of La Bayadère. After his death it was revealed that he had been suffering from AIDS for several years.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Nureyev,Rudolf Hametovich — Nu·re·yev (no͝orʹĭ yĕf, no͝o rāʹ ), Rudolf Hametovich. 1938 1993. Russian born ballet dancer and choreographer. Noted for his athletic grace, stage presence, and partnership with Margot Fonteyn, he was the most celebrated male dancer of his day.… …   Universalium

  • Nureyev, Rudolf (Hametovich) — born March 17, 1938, Irkutsk, Russia, U.S.S.R. died Jan. 6, 1993, Paris, Fr. Russian ballet dancer. After studying ballet in Leningrad (1955–58), he joined the Kirov Ballet as a soloist. He defected during the company s tour to Paris in 1961.… …   Universalium

  • Nureyev, Rudolf — ▪ Russian dancer in full  Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev  born March 17, 1938, Irkutsk, Russian S.F.S.R. [now Russia] died Jan. 6, 1993, Paris, France  ballet dancer whose suspended leaps and fast turns were often compared to Vaslav Nijinsky s… …   Universalium

  • Rudolf — /rooh dolf/, n. 1. Max, born 1902, U.S. orchestra conductor, born in Germany. 2. Lake, former name of Turkana (def. 3). 3. a male given name, form of Rolf. * * * I born Aug. 21, 1858, Schloss Laxenburg, near Vienna, Austria died Jan. 30, 1889,… …   Universalium

  • Nureyev — [noo rā′yef] Rudolf (Hametovich) 1938 93; ballet dancer, born in the Soviet Union …   English World dictionary

  • Nureyev — biographical name Rudolf Hametovich 1938 1993 Russian born ballet dancer …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nureyev — /noo ray ef, ev/; Russ. /nooh rddyay yif/, n. Rudolf (Hametovich) /khu mye teuh vyich/, 1938 93, Russian ballet dancer and choreographer; Austrian citizen 1982. * * * …   Universalium

  • Nureyev — Nu•re•yev [[t]nʊˈreɪ ɛf, ɛv[/t]] n. big Rudolf (Hametovich), 1938–93, Russian ballet dancer; Austrian citizen 1982 …   From formal English to slang

  • Nureyev — /njuˈreɪəv/ (say nyooh rayuhv), /njəˈreɪəv/ (say nyuh rayuhv) noun Rudolf Hametovich, 1938–93, Soviet born ballet dancer; defected to the West in 1961 …   Australian English dictionary

  • dance — dancingly, adv. /dans, dahns/, v., danced, dancing, n. v.i. 1. to move one s feet or body, or both, rhythmically in a pattern of steps, esp. to the accompaniment of music. 2. to leap, skip, etc., as from excitement or emotion; move nimbly or… …   Universalium


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