Rudolf Nureyev, appointed by the Minister of Culture Jack Lang in 1983, took over as director of the Paris Opera Ballet in 1983. Nureyev, the Director, worked on extending the repertoire of the Ballet. He enriched earlier periods with revivals of the Baroque, pre-romantic era, and expanded later periods with orders for the young choreographers of contemporary ballet. He improved working conditions for the dancers by having new studios built. He shook up the corps de ballet hierarchy by casting promising young dancers from the Company in soloist roles, and appointing five, twenty year old, principal dancers. Rudolf Nureyev took the prestige of the Paris Opera onto international stages. He led the troupe to the United States for three years running in 1986, 1987, and 1988, after a French absence of more than thirty years. He had them take part in festivals in Venice, Vienna, and Athens as well as the Festival in Avignon. And above all, he maintained the company at its highest level.