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Rudolf Nureyev as a Choreographer Essay

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Updated: Dec 16th, 2021


The dancer whose name elapsed throughout the world in the second half of the twentieth century, Rudolph Nureyev won all hearts of ballet admirers. This charismatic figure in the world of dance made changes that followed the contemporary performance of the ballet art. His mastership and his graceful ability to make viewers feel what they should feel distinctly emphasized his talent worldwide. The talent of Rudolph Nureyev should be considered through his hard work, charisma, virtuoso play, and a deep desire to establish male ballet, as a renovation of old practice in art with new shaping. In this respect the discussion in the paper touches upon three main ideas. The first concerns Nureyev’s desire to renovate the participation of male choreographers. The second premise presupposes his perfectionism while surpassing expectations of Western major ballet companies. Finally the third point is that Nureyev provided substantial changes in the domain of ballet art. All in all, his autobiography was the result of his passion in career prospects and in the occupation which he was devoted to.

First premise on Nureyev (male part in ballet)

Looking at the biographical data, Nureyev is permanently the one who attempted to reshape dancing art significantly. His persuasion lay in his hard-working trainings first auditioning in Bolshoi Theater, Moscow, then, in Kirov Theater, Leningrad (The Editors of Chase’s 174). Nureyev was highly motivated to combine the firmness of the male body with a grace implied in dancing. Despite generally used arrêté, pointé, and cinquième, Rudi wants male choreographers to follow “grande batterie, on the assemblé, insisting on clear, precise, visible performances, on the double “rond de jamb” and always, of course, on the lower leg work” (Nureyev). Thus, his implications for the future performance of the male part in theater were rather extensive and pervasively full of passion and self-perception on the part of an actor. With the start of his career in The Royal Ballet, Nureyev pointed out the male roles through and through up to the end of his life.

Second premise on Nureyev (participation around the world)

Since the escape from the USSR in 1961, Rudolph familiarizes himself with Margot Fonteyn and their long partnership goes through many Western Ballet Companies. Thereupon, it is vital to admit that each time Nureyev provided performance he was pleased by viewers and directors as well as connoisseurs of dancing. He might have known the language of people with whom he worked. It hereby was not a big deal to him, as the maestro of dance. Western choreography is in most points related to the style of dancing (Fandel 15). Hence, he worked with Martha Graham and Paul Taylor, directors of dance schools in the United States. He was apt at finding out something new or peculiar about dancing. He studied dancing (Bournonville style) with Eric Bruhn in Copenhagen (Nureyev). He was everywhere and traveled much in order to deliver the manifestation of movements encompassing passion and gist of life expectations. He commented on his participation with different dancers: “But dancers have to be polyglots as regards ballet – poly-dancers – becoming interpreters of several styles, using several techniques” (Nureyev). Nureyev with his understanding of Soviet classical ballet school made the Western ballet thrive throughout Europe and the United States.

Third premise (change of the art)

Rudi Nureyev changed the world of dancing and ballet art bringing new modern techniques of the 20th century to the classical works staged in terms of the 19th century in. This was a great challenge for everyone, but neither was it for Rudolph. George Balanchine once called Rudi “The Prince” trying to point out on the perfectionist performance that Nureyev had taken (Witchel 1). The thing is that the maestro, as one should fairly call him, tried to enhance and enchant female and male parts in pas de deux. This Rudi considered the point to showcase the magnificence of dancing. He needed to encompass contemporary ballet techniques by “female dancer using “staggered” pirouettes performed on pointes” (Nureyev). It is incredible, for sure. Moreover, Nureyev tried to enlarge the ballet heritage by new pas methodologically reflecting his intention to make dancing broadened in sense. Thus, he includes a “predilection for ensembles, with great sweeping diagonal movements” that make viewers surpass the effect of “rounds” (Nureyev). To say more, Nureyev sought to have male parts more impressive and realistic in terms of the content. He changed the art form by restaging classical works. Hence, he did what no one could have even attempted to do before (Kassing 239). His star is in his total devotion to changing ballet for the sake of its prominence and comprehensiveness for an “exacting” viewer.


To infer, Rudolph Nureyev is a prominent figure in the world of ballet and dance of the twentieth century. His charisma, dedication, and desire to put corrections in the classical art of ballet were the factors that made art different. It was possible due to Nureyev’s attempt to highlight male part in ballet. It was supported by his close participation with choreographers worldwide. It ended up with the new outlook of ballet improved by the maestro. Thus, Rudi is the one who did a distinct miracle for dancing that can be loaned expressly by modern dancers and those working in this area of art studies.

Works cited

Fandel, Jennifer. Rudolf Nureyev. Madison, WI: The Creative Company, 2005.

Kassing, Gayle. History of dance: an interactive arts approach. London: Human Kinetics, 2007.

Nureyev. Rudolph Nureyev Foundation Official Website, 2008. Web.

The Editors of Chase’s. Chase’s calendar of events 2009. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2009.

Witchel, Leigh. “Tribute to Nureyev – Lifecasting.” Danceviewtimes. (2009). Web.

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