top of page

Opus N°14 Jeté Battu en Tournant

This magnificent jump was inspired in 1967 by one of the greatest dancers in the world, Rudolf Nureyev. Nureyev was born in Russia in 1938. He had a difficult childhood materially and emotionally. His father left for the front in 1941 and was not seen by his son until 1946. In 1945 he bagan to dance and in 1949, Oudeltsova, a former dancer with Diaghliev, taught him for 18 months and afterwards guided him towards the best teachers of the time. At sixteen he was offered his first role in the Ballet of Ufa. Due to lack of funds he was unable to continue his training in Moscow or St. Petersburg in spite of his being admitted to the Bolshoi Theatre in 1955. In 1959 he became a soloist of the Kirov Ballet, where until 1961, he performed the classical roles of the choreographer Marius Petipas. 


In 1961, when on tour with the Kirov Ballet in France, dancing "La Baydère", he requested political asylum and was engaged by the Ballet of the Maquis de Cuevas.

In 1962 he made his debut in Covent Garden and began dancing with Margot Fonteyn. This was a remarkable partnership interpreting the greatest choreographers, such as, among others, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, George Balanchine, Martha Graham and Marius Petipa. In 1983 he was appointed Dance Director of the Paris Opera and in 1989 returned to the Kirov stage after 28 years of exile. He died in France in 1993.

It is during the period when he was at the height of his fame that he was immortalized by Ghiorgo Zafiropulo. The dozens of photographs in circulation of his jumps and leaps illustrate his virtuosity and magnificent elevation. Anatomy, facial structure, carriage of the head, position of the hands are all identifiable characteristics of this legendary dancer. This jump is most probably from the Ballet "Raimonda" which Nureyev choreographed himself to the music of A. K. Glazunov.    


At his death Pierre Bergé said:

Rudolf Nureyev arrived in a jump, he's gone in a breath. We will never forget the dancer from the cold  who immediately dazzled us and continued to fascinate.

With Nureyev it is more than a dancer who has disappeared, it is a moment of dance, as with Callas a moment of Opera diappeared. They both marked their art and after them nothing will be the same.


bottom of page