“No male dancer ever had more influence on the history, style and public perception of ballet than Rudolf Nureyev. He changed people’s expectations. Starting out from inauspicious beginnings in a remote town in the Urals, he ended up changing the whole face of the art.”
VIEW THE FOLLOWING YouTube clips and read the information contained within the link titled ‘Timeline’ and answer the following questions.
1. When and where was Rudolph Nureyev born? Describe the political climate at that time. What was Nureyev’s family life and childhood like? How and why did he start dancing, and what was his first role?
2. Who was Nureyev’s influential teacher at the Kirov theater, and what were his leading roles? Was he a model pupil? What led to Nureyev’s citizenship in the west? What were his earliest experiences as a dancer when he first defected? How did he meet Margot Fonteyn and what was significant about their partnership?
3. When did Nureyev accept the position of ballet director at the Paris Opéra? What were some of Nureyev’s strengths at the Paris Opéra? What were some of his main accomplishments there? What was his last great accomplishment?
4. What was unique about Nureyev? Why did he stand out from other dancers of his time?
5. What strikes you most about Rudolph Nureyev?
VIEW THE FOLLOWING YouTube clip and related links and answer the following questions.
1. How was Isadora Duncan’s dancing a departure from classical ballet?
2. What types of qualities characterized her dance style?
3. What are some things Duncan was known for?
4. Which style of dance is Duncan credited with inventing? Who are some other pioneers of this style?
5. What strikes you most about Isadora Duncan?
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