Nureyev – Ballet in two acts – Ilya Demutsky

Date: 09-10/12/2017

Composer: Ilya Demutsky
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Libretto by Kirill Serebrennikov
Director and Designer: Kirill Serebrennikov
Costume Designer: Elena Zaitseva
Music Director: Anton Grishanin
Lighting Designer: Alexander Sivaev
Video Designer: Sergei Rylko
Assistant Choreographers: Quinn Wharton, Nikita Dmitrievsky

The Bolshoi Theatre Chorus and Actors & Extras Ensemble participating.

Act I

The Auction
After Rudolf Nureyev’s death his property is being auctioned in New York and Paris. Each of the items on display contains a part of the great dancer’s life.

Rossi Street

Nureyev’s studying at the Vaganova Ballet School in Leningrad, his graduation concert, his early career at the Kirov Theatre. Nureyev’s success goes hand in hand with constant denunciations, both at home and during tours abroad.

A Leap to Freedom
Paris. After his legendary ‘leap to freedom’ Nureyev is left alone. His childhood memories entwine with the uncertainty that awaits him.
Nureyev meets the Parisians and tries to imitate their behaviour – to move like free people do.
He is fascinated by the dances of men in drag in the Bois de Boulogne.

A Letter to Rudi. The pupil
Nureyev’s pupils and colleagues – Charles Jude, Manuel Legris, Laurent Hilaire – remember him as an artist, as their friend, as an important part of their lives and the entire human history.

The Portrait. Rudimania

Nureyev’s photo session with the famous Richard Avedon in the latter’s studio. Avedon gets the dancer to behave as natural as possible.
Nureyev is admired by all and stalked by paparazzi. The high society is enraptured by his provocative behavior.


Dance and mutual passion unite Nureyev and Erik.

Act II

Grand Gala
Worldwide triumph. Partners change, roles change, music changes – only the great and inimitable Nureyev stays the same.
He isn’t going to let anyone take his place.

A Letter to Rudi. The diva
The great ballerinas, Nureyev’s partners – Alla Osipenko and Natalia Makarova – address him through time and eternity that lie between them.

Le Roi Soleil
Nureyev reigns like the Sun King, enjoying the exquisite singing and sensual paintings.

The Island
Beneath the gorgeous outfit of the Sun King there is a lonely Pierrot devoured by disease.

The Shadows
Nureyev is not only a dancer and a choreographer: he becomes a conductor too.
He stages La Bayadère, his last production. But he is surrounded not only by the legendary Shadows.
The music stops. Nureyev keeps conducting the silence.