Rudolf Nureyev (March 17, 1938 – January 6, 1993) was a Soviet ballet dancer and choreographer. Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him. This was the first defection of a Soviet artist during the Cold War and it created an international sensation. He danced with The Royal Ballet in London (1983 – 1989), and was director of the Paris Opera Ballet (1983 – 1989) and its chief choreographer until October 1992.
Named Lord of the Dance, Nureyev is regarded as one of ballet’s most gifted male dancers.
In 1977 he played Rudolph Valentino in Ken Russell’s film Valentino.
Find out more at www.nureyev.org.