Nureyev Ballet director at the Paris Opéra

Nureyev at the Paris Opera

Nureyev is nominated Ballet director at the Paris Opera

In 1983 Nureyev was offered and accepted the position of ballet director at the Paris Opéra. He held it for six years until ejected by a new administration. There he was able to continue dancing, provided that the company's permanent members had the first nights; his contract allowed him also to dance elsewhere, stipulating that he spend six months a year in Paris.

With good ballet staff he found he could deal by telephone with any problems in his absence, and of course the policies were his. Chief among them was widening the repertoire, both through his own productions and by bringing in an immense variety of ballets by leading choreographers and aspirants too in whom he saw talent. He wanted the dancers, like himself, to experience many styles: from the great classics (not previously well represented in Paris) and revivals or reconstructions of historic French works, to the best ballets of our time and many creations. Besides enlivening the company in this way, he stimulated the dancers by giving early opportunities to newcomers from the excellent attached school (which also benefited under him from new premises, while the company similarly gained new rehearsal studios).

More performances and increased touring were other benefits. The reactions expressed by French dancers to working with him are much like those recorded by the Royal Ballet's David Wall to his experience when Nureyev arrived: "A tremendous inspiration …. he made the work so exciting and fulfilling …. He will always help any dancer who asks him, and I have a feeling that any problem I had, professionally, I could always go to him and get an honest answer."


Rudolf Nureyev choreographies listed at the Paris Opera repertoire

  LA BAYADERE ACT III
3 october 1974
After Petipa
  MANFRED
20 november 1979
Original choreography
  DON QUIXOTE
6 march 1981
After Petipa
  RAYMONDA
5 november 1983
After Petipa
  THE SWAN LAKE
20 december 1984
After Sergueev and Bourmeister
 
  ROMEO AND JULIET
19 october 1984
Original choreography
  THE TEMPEST
9 march 1984
Original choreography
  BACH SUITE
16 april 1984
Avec Francine Lancelot
  THE NUTCRACKER
20 december 1985
After Petipa
  WASHINGTON SQUARE
25 june 1985
Original choreography
  CINDERELLA
24 october 1986
Original choreography
  SLEEPING BEAUTY
18 march 1989
After Petipa
  LA BAYADERE
8 october 1992
After Petipa