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Rudolf Nureyev Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (5) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (4) | Personal Quotes (4)

Overview (5)

Date of Birth 17 March 1938Irkutsk, USSR [now Russia]
Date of Death 6 January 1993Paris, France  (AIDS)
Birth NameRudolf Hametovich Nureyev
Nickname Rudi
Height 5' 8" (1.73 m)

Mini Bio (1)

He was an ethnic Tatar. He was educated at the Leningrad Ballet School and starred with Kirov Ballet. His first film was a USSR short Le Corsaire (1958). While performing in Paris in 1961 he defected to the West. He then performed internationally, becoming an Austrian citizen in 1982. The English/French documentary I Am a Dancer (1972), directed by Pierre Jourdan featured him and his long-time partner Margot Fonteyn. He played Rudolph Valentino in the film Valentino (1977) and Daniel Jelline in Exposed (1983), his last film. In 1982, he starred in the US stage revival of "The King and I".

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Trivia (4)

Was actually a closeted homosexual at a time when it was considered immoral and even illegal. His repression of his true nature forced him to keep his relationships shrouded in secrecy and made him a very hostile and angry man. He remained closeted all the way to his death.
Was not even thirty when he was being touted as "the greatest living male dancer."
He kept every single pair of ballet slippers he had ever owned. It was rumored that it was because he was superstitious, when in fact, it was merely sentimental value.
Initially, the producers of The Muppet Show (1976) had such difficulty casting guest stars that they had to call upon all their personal friends in the entertainment industry for help. This changed dramatically after Nureyev's guest appearance. The publicity of a renowned ballet dancer appearing on such a bizarre show created such positive publicity that the show became popular and soon celebrities were lining up to appear on the show.

Personal Quotes (4)

The only critic is a full house.
[on why he didn't want children:] "What if they were not as good as me? What would I do with those imbeciles?"
I don't care if Margot is a Dame of the British Empire or older than myself. For me she represents eternal youth; there is an absolute musical quality in her beautiful body and phrasing. Because we are sincere and gifted, an intense abstract love is born between us every time we dance together.
I approach dancing from a different angle than those who begin dancing at 8 or 9. Those who have studied from the beginning never question anything. For me, purity of movement wasn't enough. I needed expression, more intensity, more mind.

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