Rudolf Noureevn est un danseur classique, chorégraphe et directeur de ballet d'origine tatare né le 17 mars 1938 à Irkoutsk (Union soviétique) et mort le 6 janvier 1993 à Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine).
Doué d'une technique exemplaire, Rudolf Noureev est considéré comme le plus grand danseur classique et comme l'un des plus grands chorégraphesn. Il est surnommé le « seigneur de la danse ».
Rudolf Noureev fut l'un des meilleurs interprètes du répertoire classique, mais il affirma aussi son talent dans la danse contemporaine et fut l'un des premiers danseurs à s'intéresser de nouveau au répertoire baroque
Rudolf Nureyev is a Russian ballet and contemporary dancer, choreographer and director of ballet.
Endowed with an extraordinary technique, Rudolf Nureyev was considered as the greatest male ballet dander of his generation and one of the greatest choreographers, and was nicknamed "The lord of dance". Nureyev was one of the best interpreters of classic Russian ballet as well as of contemporary dances.
Rudolf Nureyev was born on a Trans-Siberian train near Irkutsk, Siberia, Soviet Union to a Tatar Muslim family and started dancing at age of 7. He began his early career with the Mariinsky Ballet in St. Petersburg and defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961.
This was the first defection of a Soviet artist during the Cold War and it created an international sensation.
Soon after his defection, Dame Ninette de Valois, director of The Royal Ballet in London offered Rudolf Nureyev a contract to join The Royal Ballet as Principal Dancer, and it was here he met Margot Fonteyn, the Prima Ballerina of The Royal Ballet, and danced with her for the first time in Giselle, a ballet matinée on 21 February 1962. Thus the most legendary partnership in the 20th century dance world was formed.
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. But he continued to perform regularly with The Royal Ballet until committing his future to the Paris Opera Ballet in the 1980s.
Rudolf Nureyev served as director of the Paris Opera Ballet 1983 to 1989. In addition to his technical prowess, Rudolf Nureyev was an accomplished choreographer serving as the chief choreographer of the Paris Opera Ballet. He produced his own interpretations of numerous classical works, including Swan Lake, Giselle, Sleeping Beauty and La Bayadère.
He also served as mentor of many young dancers working in Paris Opera Ballet, such as Sylvie Guillem, Isabelle Guérin, Manuel Legris, Elisabeth Maurin, Élisabeth Platel, Charles Jude, and Monique Loudières,etc.
In 1984, Rudolf Nureyev tested positive for HIV, but he continued to work relentlessly as dancer, choreographer and director of Paris Opera Ballet, not leaving the post until 1989.\
On 8 October 1992, Nureyev danced at the premiere at Palais Garnier of a new production of La Bayadère that he choreographed after Marius Petipa for the Paris Opera Ballet.
The ballet was a personal triumph although the gravity of his condition was evident. The French Culture Minister, Jack Lang, presented him that evening on stage with France's highest cultural award, the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. That would be Rudolf Nureyev's last public appearance.
On 6 January 1993, Rudolf Nureyev died from AIDS complications at hospital Notre Dame du Perpétuel Secours in Levallois-Perretat, age 54. His funeral was held in the marble foyer of the Paris Garnier Opera House.
After so many years of having been denied a place in the Mariinsky Ballet history, Nureyev's reputation was restored. His name was reentered in the history of the Mariinsky and some of his personal effects were placed on display at the theatre museum in St. Petersburg. At the famed Vaganova Academy a rehearsal room was named in his honour. And At the Paris Opera there is a tradition to organize a dance night as homage to Rudolf Nureyev every ten years after he died in 1993.