The peace of God to all that belong to the light,
This year of 2016 on June 16th the world remembered one of the most intriguing and spectacular episodes of the History of cold war defections from
Eastern Europe to the west ever written.
In the International airport of Paris a young star of the Kirov Ballet, a Tatar dancer Rudolf Nureyev decided to bet all against odds and escape from
the so much close and strong surveillance of the KGB to request status of political refugee looking for asylum in the French Republic.
Nureyev after an incredible successful first season ever in abroad in the French Capital started to conceive the idea that the most convenient move in
n his life and career was defection.
He was seen to have broken the rules about mingling with foreigners, which alarmed the Kirov's management and the KGB agents observing him. The KGB
wanted to send him back to the Soviet Union.
On 16 June 1961 the Kirov group had gathered at Le Bourget Airport in Paris to fly to London. Sergeyev then took Nureyev aside and told him that he
would have to return to Moscow, for a special performance in the Kremlin. Nureyev became suspicious and refused.
Next he was told that his mother had fallen severely ill and he needed to come home immediately to see her. Nureyev refused again, believing that on
return to the USSR he was likely to be imprisoned.
With the help of French police and a Parisian socialite friend – Clara Saint, who was engaged to the son of the French Minister of Culture Andre
Malraux – Nureyev got away from his KGB minders and asked for asylum. Sergeyev and the KGB tried to discuss it with him but he chose to stay in
Within a week, he was signed up by the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas and was performing The Sleeping Beauty with Nina Vyroubova. On a tour of
Denmark he met Erik Bruhn, soloist at the Royal Danish Ballet who became his lover, his closest friend and his protector until Bruhn's death in
Russian authorities made Nureyev's father, mother and dance teacher Pushkin write letters to him, urging him to return, without effect. He knew his
father letter was probably not sincere since he was always against his ballet career since the beginning, but of course for an officer that was war
hero of the Soviet Union his defection was a disgrace.
Nureyev was not wrong, he reached levels of fame and of success few ever have had in the world of Dance, he was very successful in the Royal Ballet
and became director of the Ballet of the Opera in Paris, position that he held practically until his death.
He became a pop star in the west, in great part as the 1960s in Music was the era of Beatles, in dance was the one of Rudolf Nureyev. His face remains
still as one of the most well known of any tatar in History, competing even with the one of of Vaslav Nijinsky, another ballet Dancer that made the
Russian Ballet known in the western world in the 1910s.
Nureyev became so much successful that even during the time he was not working for a great company he was able to produce his own ballet
choreographies and even a movie, like his Swan Lake in Vienna or his Don Quixote filmed in Australia.
Although he petitioned the Soviet government for many years to be allowed to visit his mother, he was not allowed to do so until 1987, when his mother
was dying and Mikhail Gorbachev consented to the visit. In 1989, he was invited to dance the role of James in La Sylphide with the Kirov Ballet at the
Kirov Theatre in Leningrad. The visit gave him the opportunity to see many of the teachers and colleagues he had not seen since his defection.
Thanks for your attention, I expect interest from all the lovers of Ballet and Dance in this thread remembering one of the most famous iconic figures
of this art along History.
The Angel of Lightness
edit on 11/16/2016 by The angel of light because: (no reason given)