Rudolf Nureyev
Guy Lochhead, 11/09/10
Famed Tatar Russian dancer from the Soviet Union, primarily known for his work in ballet. He defected to the West, despite KGB efforts to stop him (apparently ordering agents to kill him), and joined the Royal Ballet. When AIDS appeared in France in the early ’80s, Nureyev took little notice. His health deteriorated throughout the ’80s, until his death in 1992, a few months after his last performance at the Palais Garnier. I don’t understand the reason for institutionalised dance. Dance academies hurt people. There is much to admire in Nureyev’s single-mindedness, commitment and determination, but this proved his downfall when he denied his illness. I doubt I’ll include any professional dancers, as the industry is too destructive and wasteful.

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