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UFA, Bashkortostan, March 17 (Itar-Tass) - The 75th anniversary of legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev will be marked in his home town of Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, on Sunday. The Bashkir Opera and Ballet Theatre will show ‘La Sylphide’, a ballet in which Nureyev brilliantly danced the part of James almost 50 years ago, on Sunday.
“It has become a good tradition with the Bashkir Opera and Ballet Theatre, a place where Nureyev started his way to the big stage, to devote a ballet to the great dancer on the anniversary of his birthday,” Marina Lugovaya, the head of the theatre’s literature and drama department, said.
Nureyev danced the part of James for the first time together with the National Ballet of Canada in 1965.
A unique collection of the dancer’s personal belongings will be put on view in the Hermitage Theatrical Hall. A total of 156 pieces, including stage costumes, make-up, awards, photos, posters and visit cards, were handed over to the theatre’s museum by the Rudolf Nureyev International Foundation.
Recordings of Nureyev’s 1989 performance in ‘La Sylphide’ on the stage of the Kirov (Mariinsky) Theatre in St. Petersburg will be demonstrated on a big television screen. The dancing of the 51-year-old ballet dancer was sensational. The house was packed.
Rudolf Nureyev was born in a train on March 17, 1938. He spent his childhood in Ufa where started his brilliant ballet career. Nureyev danced in a children’s ensemble since the age of 7. He was enrolled to the ballet troupe of the Ufa Opera Theatre at the age of 16. Nureyev studied at the Agrippina Vaganova Choreography School in Leningrad (now St.Petersburg) for three years. He danced on the stage of Mariinsky Theatre also for three years. The audiences fell in love with him from the very first performances. Nureyev defected during the theatre’s foreign guest tour in 1961. Later, he danced in the British Royal Ballet and headed the ballet troupe at the French Grande Opera. Nureyev died in Paris after a serious disease two months before his 55th birthday. He is buried at the Russian cemetery in Saint Genevieve de Bois near Paris.
Ufa has been hosting an international ballet festival devoted to Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993) since 1993. The 19th festival will be held this year. It will open with a Gala concert of graduates and students of the Bashkir Choreographic College on April 17. The program will include three ballets: “Giselle”, “La Bayadere” and “Don Quixote” choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich.