Students @ Stetson University exploring Russian culture.
Неофициальный сайт студентов Стетсноского университета изучающих русский язык и культуру.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Rudolf Nureyev was born, the youngest child and only son to a peasant family of Tartar heritage, on March 17, 1938, in Irkutsk, Russia. When Germany invaded the U.S.S.R., Rudolf and his family evacuated from Moscow to Ufa, Bashkir. Although the family lived in poverty there, Rudolf's mother, Farida, managed to buy a single ticket to the opera and sneak her children in. At his first glimpse of ballerina Zaituna Nazretdinova, Rudolf knew he wanted to become a dancer. At the age of 11, Nureyev started ballet classes. Nureyev started dancing professionally as an extra at the local opera when he was 15. From there he landed a job with the corps de ballet and toured with them in Moscow. When he turned 17, he got into the Leningrad Ballet School. When he graduated, Nureyev accepted a soloist contract with the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg and debuted opposite Natalia Dudinskaya. Over the next few years, he danced an additional 15 major roles in productions at the Kirov Theater On June 16, 1961, as the troupe was preparing to board a flight home following a tour in France, Nureyev broke from the group and insisted that he was staying in France. According to eyewitnesses, other members of the troupe pleaded with Nureyev to rejoin them and return to the Soviet Union. The dancer refused and threw himself into the arms of airport security people, screaming, "Protect me!" The security officials took Nureyev into custody, whereupon he asked for political asylum. Nureyev's high-profile defection was a double blow to the Soviet Union. First, it detracted from the quality of the Kirov Company, which had featured the young prodigy prominently in its performances throughout the world. Second, it severely damaged Soviet propaganda that touted the political and artistic freedom in Russia. Nureyev continued with his career after his defection. During the next 30 years he danced with England's Royal Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre. He was in great demand as both a dancer and choreographer. In 1983, he took over as ballet director of the Paris Opera. In 1989, he briefly returned to the Soviet Union to perform. He died in Paris in 1993.