Rudolf Nureyev

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Rudolf Nureyev

Rudolf's childhood was harsh and he faced many obstacles. Two being communism and poverty. Just years before Rudolf was born Vladimir Ilyich Lenin became the first premier of the Soviet Union and many people faced starvation from the cruelty of the communist rule. The Nureyev's relocated to Moscow from their current home of Vladivostok after horrors of WWII were being felt in parts of Russia. After Hitler's surprise attack on Russia, Rudolf's father Hamet, was sent to fight in the war. Life without Hamet was harder than ever and Rudolf and his family were extremely poor. The Nureyevs had to move to Ufa to be safe from war threats. Another major obstacle Rudolf faced was between him and his father. His father was cruel to Rudolf and once left him outside in a tree for several hours because he wanted to become a dancer. Hamet wouldn't let Rudolf attend dance classes either so Rudolf had to do this in secret.

Throughout his life Rudolf was influenced by many people. He was influenced by his first ballet teacher Anna Udeltsova who supported his love for dance. Anna thought that Rudolf was talented and taught him all she could. Another one of Rudolf's influences was Elena Vaitovitch. After Anna had shown Rudolf the world of classical ballet she handed him over to her more experienced friend Elena. Elena helped Rudolf grow more as a dancer and gave him many opportunities. Rudolf says about his dance teachers, " They opened up my provincial eyes and I will always be grateful for them".

As a young boy Rudolf showed that he was determined. Rudolf would make up excuses and go against his father just to attend dance class. Another one of Rudolf's character traits was daring. He risked all he had to go to a new country with nothing. He was also dedicated and self-reliant. Rudolf showed his dedication through his passion for dance. Through the hardships Rudolf faced, he never gave up his dedication to classical and folk dancing. Rudolf was also self-reliant in which he believed that if something needed to be done you should do it yourself.

Major Obstacles

A significant moment in Rudolf's life was on December 31, 1945. This was the day of a gala ballet at the Ufa opera house. The arts provided an escape from the communist world of starvation and poverty. Rudolf's mother, Farida, was determined to bring her children to see the performance. However Farida could only afford one ticket and had to smuggle her children inside the opera house. After watching the amazing ballerinas, Rudolf was mesmerized. This was the night he decided to become a dancer. Another significant moment in Rudolf's life was when he finally got to audition for a place in the Leningrad Ballet School. After a long and rocky road to his goal, Rudolf got accepted and one of his dreams was accomplished.

Significant Moments

Rudolf dancing with partner Margot Fonteyn

Rudolf with Ms. Piggy and Kermit the frog on The Muppet Show.

A pair of Rudolf's old ballet slippers that he signed.

Video Link ↓

Rudolf Nureyev1938 -1993Rudolf Nureyev was a classical ballet dancer who changed the face of male dancing forever!

Rudolf with his 3 older sisters, mother, and father after his dad returned from the war.

Character Traits


Rudolf Nureyev


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