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Nureyev will be portrayed by Vladimir Malakhov, a “dancer of the century”

The first ballet premiere of the current season of the Košice State Theater will be a staging about exceptional Russian dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev, with Vladimir Malakhov, the “dancer of the century,” in the main role.

The Košice State Theater is currently finishing with preparations for the world premiere of Rudolf Nurejev, the ballet staging by director and choreographer Ondrej Šoth. On 29 November 2020, the audience in the Historical Building of the Košice State Theater will be able to enjoy the story of the artist who changed the world of dance.R

ussian dancer, choreographer, ballet superstar Rudolf Nureyev, became the first Soviet artist to escape from the Soviet Union to the West during the Cold War in 1961, causing an international sensation at home and in the world. Only Mikhail Gorbachev allowed him to re-enter the country to visit his sick mother after 26 years in 1987. Meanwhile, Nureyev impressed the world with his art and continued his career in the Royal Ballet in London or as the director and choreographer of the ballet of the Paris Opera. An unconforming rebel, a complicated personality who didn’t respect authority and often broke conventions, a good friend of Andy Warhol's, Jackie O. Kennedy and Freddie Mercury. He shared a similar fate when he was infected with HIV in 1984 and died of advanced AIDS in Paris as a 54-year-old in 1993. However, he left the world a strong legacy and a number of unique choreographies. It is his troubled fate and the development of male ballet technique and dance aesthetics that is the subject of the story of Ondrej Šoth's new staging.

The main role will be performed by a Ukrainian dancer and choreographer, in the past also a soloist of the Vienna State Opera ballet, National Ballet in Canada, director of the Staatsballet in Berlin and honorary professor of the Ukrainian Academy of Choreology, Vladimir Malakhov, referred to as the “dancer of the century” by European dance criticism. He has been cooperating with the Košice ballet for almost ten years - in September 2015 as a director and choreographer he staged Bajadera by Ludwig Minkus, in March 2018 Swan Lake by Tchaikovsky. For the first time in Košice this autumn he will also present himself as a soloist: “I am very happy, because every time I go back to Košice, it's like I'm coming home. I feel very comfortable in Košice and the city and dancers still inspire me. I've done some choreography here before, and now I'm going to be in one directly. I'm very excited,” says Malakhov.

“Vladimir Malakhov is one of the greatest dancers in the world. It is a great honor for us that he has accepted the invitation to Košice. He will be on the stage 24/7 and will transform Rudolf Nurejev's ideas from early youth to death,” says the author and choreographer of the staging, Director General of Košice State Theater, Ondrej Šoth.

The November premiere will also be a symbolic gift of our theater for the 85th anniversary of the prominent Slovak ballet pedagogue and choreographer Marilena Halászová. She joined the Košice State Theater in 1969 with her husband, artistic partner and collaborator Andrej Halász as choreographer and artistic director of the ballet ensemble. After twelve years she exchanged Košice for Baghdad, after returning she worked in Prague. She was the initiator of the Dance Department at the Conservatory in Košice and as a theoretician and pedagogue she worked in the dance departments of the Academy of Performing Arts in Bratislava and the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague - HAMU. The trace of the Halász spouses in the Košice Ballet is indelible and we will be happy to pay tribute to them on the occasion of the first ballet premiere of the season.