In the words of Marie-Pierre Ferey, who wrote a beautiful article about the dancer- “Nureyev’s legacy in spotlight, 20 years on”- we can still perceive the endless Dance legacy of this Artist.
“Twenty years after his death Rudolf Nureyev’s impact on ballet is still felt worldwide” – “As long as they are putting on my ballets, I will live on,” Brigitte Lefevre, dance director of the Paris Opera, recalls Nureyev saying in the years before the ravages of AIDS finally claimed him, aged 54, on January 6, 1993. A fitting epitaph for a performer who went from being the outstanding male dancer of his generation to a choreographer whose influence resonates throughout modern ballet.
“He redefined the role of the male dancer,” said ballet historian Helene Ciolkovitch. “He took it beyond that of simple support, creating a more balanced partnership with the ballerina.”
“When you danced alongside him, you really had to give everything. If you didn’t you couldn’t keep up,” recalled Noella Pointois, one of Nureyev’s numerous celebrated on-stage partners. “It was a huge thing, dancing with a star like him.”
Ballet companies around the world are paying tribute to the dancer two decades after his death.
The Paris Opera hosts a gala night on Sunday, with his “Sleeping Beauty” running as part of its 2013/2014 season and his “Nutcracker” in 2014/2015.
London’s Royal Ballet this month stages Nureyev’s “Raymonda“, followed next month by “Marguerite and Armand“, while the Vienna Opera ballet plans a Nureyev gala on June 29 and San Francisco’s De Young Museum is showcasing his stage costumes until February.
And come September the Kremlin ballet will perform his “Cinderella” — a milestone for Russia, where authorities stung by his defection blacked out all information about him even as his international career soared.
A posthumous homecoming for Nureyev, who had returned to his native land after 26 years in exile, only to find his ailing mother did not recognise him, and the Russian public knew nothing of his stellar rise.”
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