RUDOLF NUREYEV

Rudolf was a Russian dancer and choreographer. He died of AIDS in 1993.

He was born in Irkutsk (Siberia) in 1938, right on the train on which his mother was travelling to Vladivostok. His father was a political representative of the Red Army.

Rudolf grew up in a small collage near Ufa in Baschiria.

In 1955, at the age of seventeen, he entered the Vaganova Ballet Academy of Leningrad. Rudolf was a great talent and he had an extremely difficult personality. He became one of the most famous dancers of the Soviet Union, which had an important tradition for the ballet.

In 1961, Nureyev went to Paris, where he substituted the first dancer of Kirov Ballet who had enjured himself in the last minute. It was the beginning of his successful career. Rudolf was exalted by the audience and the critics.

After his mother`s death, Rudolf went back to Russia and moved to Kirov. In 1989 he was called from Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas, where he danced the `Sleeping Beauty` with Nina Vyroubova. Nureyev became a celebrity in Europe, also because of his crazy personality and great handsomeness.

During a tour in Denmark, he met Erik Bruhn, who was an artistic, a director, a dancer and a choreographer. Erik became his partner, his best friend and his patron for many years. He died in 1986.

In the same year Nureyev met Margot Fonteyn, who was at that time one of the best English dancers. They started working together in the Royal Ballet of London. Together they danced `The Swan Lake` and `Giselle`. Fonteyn remained Rudolf`s best friend until she died of cancer.

Nureyev was notoriously rude but also friendly. He was very intelligent and he knew all about ballet. He had relations with many famous people, such as Jacquelin Kennedy Onassis, Mick Jagger and Andy Warhol.

Andy Warhol
Mick Jagger

In 1962 Rudolf played `Les Sylphides` and in 1976 he played the role of Rodolfo Valentino in a movie by Ken Russell. Rudolf also starred in some movies.

In 1983 he became the artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet for the promotion the young dancers.

During his life he could dance in the most famous ballet companies of the classical scenes. In 1982 he fell ill with AIDS and he died in a clinic in Paris in 1993 at the age of fifty-five .

I have chosen Rudolf Nureyev not only because he is my favourite dancer but also because he had a crazy personality, which I think adds on a special trait to an artist .