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Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993), Ballet dancer and choreographer

Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev

Sitter in 8 portraits
Born in the former Irkutsk, Siberia (part of the former Soviet Union), 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 Margot Fonteyn, with whom he danced in Giselle and Swan Lake. In 1963 Frederick 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 in 1963 and Raymonda in 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. Nureyev is acclaimed as the greatest male dancer of his generation.

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Rudolf Nureyev

by Bernard Lee ('Bern') Schwartz
dye transfer print, 10 July 1977
NPG P1225


Rudolf Nureyev

by Derry Moore, 12th Earl of Drogheda
colour print, 1985
NPG P531


Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, February 1962
NPG x137680


Sir Frederick Ashton; Rudolf Hametovich Nureyev

by Michael Peto
modern bromide print from original negative, February 1962
NPG x138053


Rudolf Nureyev

by Cecil Beaton
vintage bromide print, 1962
NPG x40301


Rudolf Nureyev

by Cecil Beaton
bromide print, 1962
NPG x40302


Rudolf Nureyev

by Alan Bergman
selenium-toned bromide print, 1972
NPG x125576


Rudolf Nureyev

by Jane Bown
gelatin silver print, 1964
NPG x133114