30 years without the genius of Rudolf Nureyev

Rudolf Nureyev was just 54 years old when he died 30 years ago in Paris from AIDS. I was privileged to see him on stage and understand, from the front row, what he represented and offered to his passionate audience. We talk about legends frequently, more than necessary, but when we are in the same environment as one, the energy is different. The air is light, the lights are brighter and every second is suspended in the air. Rudolf Nureyev was and is a legend.

In classical dance, especially for men, there is before and after Nureyev, a Tartar with a rebellious soul who discovered the meaning of life in dance. Charismatic, perfectionist, temperamental, curious, questioning, and innovative, he was compared to Vaslav Nijinsky. I think it was much bigger than him.

In 1993, AIDS was still taboo and so Nureyev’s death was described – at his request not to mention it – as “a cardiac complication, after a serious illness”. He had been hospitalized for just over two months. Paris was the dancer’s home since he “defected” (a questionable term, but used in the Cold War years) from the then-Soviet Union, in 1961. With his leap to the West, he became an icon of the 20th century, influencing fashion and becoming one of the most famous men in the world, bringing popularity to ballet that is hard to match.

In nearly 30 years of an international career (excluding years in Russia), Rudolf Nureyev choreographed, re-enacted classics, danced modern pieces, was an actor and orchestra conductor (!), and served as artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet. As the NY Times perfectly put it: “Life and dancing were one and the same for Mr. Nureyev”.

The dancer recorded several important productions such as Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, Giselle, and Swan Lake, but it was dancing with Margot Fonteyn that he is most remembered for, with a partnership that defines magic.

Today I pay another tribute to him. A god of dance.

2 comentários Adicione o seu

  1. Yves Broeckx disse:

    A true artist and legend. I enjoyed your article

    Curtido por 1 pessoa

    1. Thank you so much! It means a lot!!!

      Curtido por 1 pessoa

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