“Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian Tatar dancer from the former Soviet Union, primarily known for his work in ballet. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women. He defected to the West, despite KGB efforts to stop him. According to KGB archives studied by Peter Watson, Nikita Khrushchev personally signed an order to have Nureyev killed”.

Photo: Ballet dancer Rudolph Nureyev (1938 – 1993) rehearsing for a BBC Television appearance in “Music In Camera”. (Photo by Central Press/Getty Images)

British ballerina Margot Fonteyn (Margaret Hookham) (1919 – 1991) and her professional partner during his tenure with the Royal Ballet Rudolf Nureyev. (Photo by Potter/Express/Getty Images). 12th December 1965

Ballet dancers Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn rehearsing at the Royal Opera House, London for the world premiere of Roland Petit's ballet “Paradise Lost”. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images). 1967

British dancer Wayne Sleep (left) with Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev (centre) and Alexander Grant, New Zealand born dancer and director, who all play “Petrushka” at Covent Garden. (Photo by Milton Wordley/Getty Images). 1975

Princess Grace of Monaco (1929 - 1982) with ballet dancers Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev before the Monte Carlo Royal Performance. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images). 1968

Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev adjusts Doreen Wells' costume before a performance for the Ballet Hongroise. (Photo by Victor Blackman/Express/Getty Images). 1st July 1966

Russian ballet dancer, Rudolf Nureyev at a rehearsal with the English conductor, Sir Malcolm Sargent (1895 – 1967). (Photo by Harry Benson/Express/Getty Images). 1st March 1963

Rudolf Nureyev, rehearsing for his role as the Traveller with Diana Vere and Monica Mason who play Life and Death, in a production of Rudi van Dantzig's new ballet “The Ropes of Time” at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images). 27th February 1970

Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev speaking during an interview at the Champs-Elysees Theatre, Paris, where he is rehearsing. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 22nd June 1961

Rudolf Nureyev rehearsing “Swan Lake” with Natalia Makarova at the Coliseum in London. (Photo by Leonard Burt/Central Press/Getty Images). 26th October 1970

Ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev in dressing room at the Coliseum Theatre, London. On his dressing table a row of ballet shoes and an array of make-up. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 20th June 1977

World famous ballet star Rudolf Nureyev rehearsing at the Royal Opera House for performance of “Petrushka”, with Nadia Nerina as the doll. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images). 23rd October 1963

Russian ballet dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, perches on the boot of a Triumph TR7 car. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images). 30th May 1980

English ballerina Margot Fonteyn and Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev dancing in a French television production of “La Dame Aux Camelias”, produced by Pierre Jourdan, 22nd August 1970. (Photo by Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent (1936 – 2008) with Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev after the launch of Saint Laurent's new aftershave, “Kouros”, Paris, 23rd February 1981. The launch featured a performance by Nureyev in a gala night of entertainment at the Opera comique. (Photo by Keystone /Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
16 Mar 2011 09:10:00