Nureyev and the reappraisal of male ballet

 

Bayadere Noureev

His interpretation of the great ballets has revived the role of the male ballet. Of course, he helped himself first, and fashioned the variations to suit him. However, he did not stop at improving the male soloist roles; he also took the male dancers from the corps de ballet into consideration, as is proved by the Polonaise in Swan Lake (danced by 16 male dancers), the fantastic waltz in Raymonda, or even the flights of groups of male dancers in the third act of Cinderella. He maintained the force and the technique of the male dancer, but improved their elegance beyond recognition.