Memories and interviews

  Igor EISNER
Inspector General of Dance at the Ministry of Culture, until 1990.

 

NUREYEV, A MODERN-DAY HERO,

There will always be virtuosos. But a great dancer, capable of reinvigorating the style of a dull era, open to all the discoveries of his time and capable of passing on to others his knowledge and his ways, is a rare being indeed. Rudolf Nureyev was one of them.

He learned his art at the Kirov School and developed it in the West. For a quarter of a century, he danced nearly every evening across the world.

In London, he extended his repertoire with Ashton and MacMillan… in New York he worked with Paul Taylor, Balanchine and Graham… and in France with Béjart and Petit.

Jack Lang called upon him in August 1981, to take advantage of his unique experience, appointing him at the head of the Opera Ballet in 1983 for seven years. Among other advantages, this enabled us to put the work of our compatriot, Marius Petipa, in its rightful place in the repertoire of the Palais Garnier, with renewed drama.

As a choreographer, Nureyev left us a vigorous Romeo and Juliet, in the true spirit of the epoch and the subject.