Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993), Ballet dancer and choreographer
Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev
Sitter associated with 8 portraits
Acclaimed as the greatest male dancer of his generation, Nureyev danced with the Kirov Ballet before he defected to the West in 1961. He joined The Royal Ballet in 1962 and formed an internationally acclaimed partnership with Dame Margot Fonteyn, with whom he danced in Giselle and Swan Lake. In 1963 Ashton created Marguerite and Armand for them and two years later they premièred MacMillan's Romeo and Juliet. Nureyev staged La Bayadère for the Company (1963) and Raymonda (1964). He starred in Ken Russell's film Valentino (1977) and an American tour of The King and I (1989). From 1983 to 1989 he was ballet director at the Paris Opéra.