Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev (17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993) was a Russian ballet dancer. He was one of the most celebrated dancers of the 20th century. In 1961 he defected to the West, despite KGB efforts to prevent him. For some years he partnered Dame Margot Fonteyn.
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev
17 March 1938
|Died||6 January 1993 (aged 54)|
|Cause of death||AIDS|
|Alma mater||Kirov Ballet School|
|Occupation||Ballet dancer, choreographer|
(1961–1986, his death)
The Dictionary of Dance says "His repertoire was enormous, including all the classics and the modern standards". After his period with Fonteyn, Nureyev worked in several countries.
Nureyev was director, principal dancer and choreographer of Nureyev and Friends on Broadway (1974–75) and was artistic director of the Paris Opera House from 1983 to 1989. He promoted junior dancers, such as Sylvie Guillem, and commissioned new works. In the last years of his life he took up conducting.