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NUREYEV – ballet production of State Theatre Košice in the Slovak National Theatre

The Ballet of State Theatre Košice will be welcomed on the ground of Slovak National Theatre with extremely interesting production about the life story of Rudolf Nureyev, a dancer and choreographer who changed the view on men´s classical ballet and impressed us with his desire for freedom. Roman Lazík, a longtime first soloist of the Vienna State Ballet, will perform in the main role.

The complicated destinies of personalities not only in the art world attract Ondrej Šoth, who brings them to life in unrepeatable scenic images. As a choreographer and director, he is impressed by Rudolf Nureyev (1938 – 1993). The name that still electrifies not only the ballet world. From the moment of a dramatic scene that took place at the Paris Le Bourget airport in June 1961, when the ballet company of the Kirov Theatre ( today the Mariinsky Theatre ), from Leningrad at the time, was supposed to continue the tour with Nureyev to London, after a successful performance in Paris. But because of an „obnoxious behaviour“ in the metropolis on the Seine, unwanted contacts etc., he became inconvenient or „dangerous“, the KGB set a trap for Nureyev, saying that his appearance was expected in Kremlin. The following day, the world press reported that with grandiose leap „grand pas jeté“ and with the help of the French police, Nureyev managed to apply for political asylum.

He was 23 years old.

What did dance mean to this exceptional artist? „ The perfect movement wasn´t enough for me“, he revealed. „ I needed expression, more intensity, more soul.“ He accomplished all of this on world´s most prestigious stages. He became admired, recognized, he touched the stars with his fame, he was as famous as rock singing idols. The lenght of the applause was endless. In Vienna in 1964, after the performance of Swan Lake, where he performed as Prince Siegfried alongside the no less famous ballerina Margot Fonteyn, the audience called soloists eighty times in front of a curtain – it entered the Guinness Book of Records. Nureyev charmed not only the art world with his personality, he became perhaps the most famous dancer of all time and one of those who attracted the most cameras...

A young man from a poor peasant family who spent his childhood in Ufa, a city more than two thousand kilometers from Leningrad, where he began his career and conquered the world. He loved Paris ( in 1983 – 1989 he was artistic director of Ballet at the Paris Opera ), where he died early, at the age of 54, surrounded by luxury. Nureyev became an icon – in the lights of the theatre stage and on the screen ( as a main character in the film Valentino, he performed with, for example, Leslie Caron or Natassja Kinski ), in musicals on Broadway, and even could not resist the conductor´s baton. He did not limit his Tatar temperament, he lived intensively... The most „famous“ Soviet emigrant was rehabilitated in his home country in 1998, five years after his death.

Ondrej Šoth, the author of the choreographic and directing concept, stated: „ It is a story about unfreedom. About the fact, that freedom must be always won, even at the cost of sacrifices. With this production, I pay tribute to the art of dance and to Nureyev as a personality who developed male dance. With his dance interpretation and choreography,the huge development of men´s technique and aesthetics of dance began.“

The only performance of the outstanding ballet fresco NUREYEV – an epic drama, that brings the life of the legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev closer, where Ondrej Šoth and Zuzana Mistríková reflect on his career and reveal his soul, will be presented by the Ballet of State Theatre Košice at the Slovak National Theatre, on Saturday 4th February at 18:00 o´clock. Roman Lazík, the first soloist of the Vienna State Ballet for many years, will perform in the main role exclusively in Bratislava.