Questions often asked about Rudolf Nureyev


Click on this link to send a question

Q1 – Where can I buy DVDs of Nureyev ballets ?
Unfortunately purchasing DVDs or books is not possible on our website. You can buy them in specialized stores or directly on the web on

Q2 – What caused Rudolf Nureyev’s death and when did he die ?
Rudolf Nureyev died of AIDS related complications at the age of 54 in Paris on January, 6th 1993.

Q3 – Did Nureyev ever dance at the Bolshoï in Moscow ?
Contrary to what you might think, Nureyev never danced on stage at the Bolshoi Opera!
It was at the Kirov theatre in Saint Petersburg that Nureyev made his 1958 debut.

Q4 – Which ballet was given the greatest number of curtain calls ?
In Vienna, in October 1964, Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev received 89 curtain calls at the end of “Swan Lake” – a record for curtain calls which remains unequalled to this day, and which is still in the Guinness Book of World Records!

Q5 – I would like to read a biography to know more about Nureyev, could you advise me ?
The fullest and latest biography is : Nureyev by Julie Kavanagh

Q6 – When did Nureyev defect from the Kirov Ballet and at which airport ?
16th June 1961 – Rudolf Nureyev defects from the Kirov Ballet at Le Bourget Airport in France while he was on the verge of flying back to USSR.

Q7 – Is it true that Nureyev was born on a train ?
Yes, it’s true! Travelling by rail with her daughters, Rudolf’s mother was on her way to join her husband when, somewhere near to the Baikal Lake, her son was born prematurely on board the Trans-Siberian train. His official birth date is the 17th March 1938, but he was probably born one or two days earlier.

Q8 – Where is Nureyev’s grave ?
Rudolf Nureyev asked to be buried in Sainte Geneviève des Bois cemetery, the final resting place for numerous Russians [see our section: Russian cemetery. But Rudolf Nureyev was not orthodox which is why you will not find a single religious symbol on his grave. His parents were Muslim Tatars living in Ufa, capital of Bashkir.
>see the “grave” section

Q9 – What was Nureyev’s height ?
His height was 5 feet 8 inches tall according to his last passport.

Q10 – What was his last ballet ?
La Bayadère – production for the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris in 1992

Q11 – When did Nureyev stop dancing ?
His last role was the Fairy Carabosse in the Sleeping Beauty at the Staatsoper in Berlin in 1992.

Q12 – Where can I buy a poster featuring Rudolf Nureyev ?
You can find poster, postcards, bags and many other items on this shop on line dedicated to Nureyev :