Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Rudolf Nureyev

After talking about sea lions and jury duty, it’s time to talk a little about some ballet and one of its main exponents: Rudolf Nureyev.

Nureyev is famous not only because of his amazing skills as a performer but also because the way he impacted the masculine roles in classical dance. Because of his abilities, he had more choreography than any other male dancer would have but he also believed that ballet could not exist or progress without choreography. He not only dedicated tremendous effort to perfect his technique as a dancer but he also put a lot of emphasis on what his roles needed to communicate to the public. By having a more important role in the performance, he revolutionized masculine roles in classical dance; male dancers previously were basically considered as supporting elements of the principal female dancer.

Nowadays, it is common to see choreography with both classical and modern dance elements. Rudolf Nureyev was one of the first dancers who started crossing the line between different dancing styles. He actually made progress in the way this was seen by the experts in the dance world. He was hardly criticized at that time but his efforts succeeded, over time, in transforming and broadening the way dance was perceived by the performers and the public.

If you want to see or learn more about Rudolf Nureyev, check our catalog. You will find videos with him performing and books about his life. Here are some examples:

Nureyev: the life
The real Nureyev
Guiselle (DVD)
The Sleeping Beauty (DVD)

You can also check the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation website for lots of information about him and his art.


kathy said...

Thank you for your wonderful article. Rudolf was the greatest dancer, and his contributions to dance and music are unsurpassed; yet, with so many recent books about him dwelling on his private life instead of his dancing, I fear that young people will miss out learning about the most brilliant dancer of the 20th century.

Aleph said...

Hello Kathy! Thanks for your comment! You are right, there is a lot of information out there about his personal life that distract people from his great accomplishments as an artist. Thanks again!

Aleph said...

Just to add a little to this blog, I found a very nice video of Rudolf Nureyev performing at the Muppets show in a very nice Fred Astaire style Something very different of what we are use to see him doing. Enjoy!

Anonymous said...

Yes, great article- thanks. Do you know anything about Rudolf Nureyev coming to dance in Manchester? I'm doing some research about him and am trying to follow a lead... All help appreciated.

Aleph said...

Hello Anonymous! Please send us your question through Ask a Librarian with more details. I am sure we can help!