Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance Costume by Nicholas Giorgiadis for Rudolf Nureyev in the role of Prince Florimond inSleeping Beauty, Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1966 (left) and costume by Ezio Frigerio and Mauro Pagaono for Rudolf Nureyev in the role of Romeo, Romeo and Juliet, London Ballet Festival, 1977 (right). Collection CNCS/Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. Photographs by Pascal François/CNCS
The KGB's long war against Nureyev: Rudolf Nureyev did not plan his defection to the West, but took advantage of a squabble between Kirov ballet leaders and Soviet security agents to flee when he defected at Le Bourget airport in Paris many years ago.
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev (17 March 1938 – 6 January 1993) was a Soviet-born dancer of ballet and modern dance, one of the most celebrated of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women. Nureyev defected from the Soviet Union to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him.