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Ballet Talk for Dancers
OldSoulDancer

Rudolf Nureyev

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OldSoulDancer

I don't know much about him, but I read that Rudolf Nureyev started ballet at age 11, which is often considered late (though I've heard that male dancers often have an easier time catching up).  When I brought this up in a discussion about late starters, a person said that Nureyev had admitted himself that he had technical faults (more so than the average professional).  I was wondering if anyone could verify this claim, and if so, why did he come to be known as one of the greatest male dancers?

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vrsfanatic

Mr. Nureyev began the study of classical dance 1 year later than other children who were living in the Soviet Union, now Russia, at the time. One may enter a professional ballet school in Russia at age 10. He was from Ufa, a remote city in the Urals, I believe. He studied character dance and later classical ballet. He went to Leningrad, now St. Petersburg to enter the class of the famed pedagogue, Alexander Pushkin. Might I suggest you read the young people's book, The Dancer Who Flew. It is written by Linda Mayburduk Alguirre, who Mr. Nureyev at National Ballet of Canada in the 1970s.

Mr. Nureyev was most noted for his theatrical flair. His ballet mechanics were not the strongest of the time and having left Russia in the early years of his performing career, he was always lacking in the continuation of the strong classes he would have had had he not defected. 

He became known as one of the strongest male dancers because of his theatrical flair on and off the stage. He was a real entertainer. He was able to appeal to both men and women who had little interest in ballet of his time. He brought movie star status to the male ballet dancer outside of the Soviet Union.

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OldSoulDancer

Oh okay, that makes sense.  Thanks!  And thanks for the book suggestion, I'll check it out.

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Clutterbug

I watched 'The White Crow' which is a biopic of Rudolph Nureyev at the movies last year and found it so fascinating that I'm reading Julie Kavanagh's biography of Rudolph which inspired the movie. It's almost 700 pages so very comprehensive but well researched with an extensive list of sources, references and quotes.

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OldSoulDancer

Wow, that looks very interesting.  Thanks for the recommendation!

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