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Rudolf Hametovic Nureyev revolutionised masculine ballet roles in the last century. Born on a train in the Lake Baikal region of Russia in 1938, Nureyev started taking dance lessons at the age of eleven, from an elderly teacher, Mrs. Udeltsova, a former member of the legendary “Ballets Russes” of Diaghilev. In 1955 he joined the prestigious Kirov theatre dance school in Leningrad (present day Saint Petersburg) and during a tour in Europe, like many of his fellow artists, asked for political asylum in France, in order to escape the oppressive Soviet regime. It was the period of the cold war and, in a climate of strong opposition between East and West, he sparked off an international scandal. The media took great interest in the case often associating his defection with rather basic political reasons rather than the noble world of dance, thus gathering the attention of a vast public, not only those interested in the world of ballet. Nureyev soon built up a career for himself in The West by working for important companies of the calibre of the Royal London Ballet, where he formed a remarkable partnership with Margot Fonteyn, in fact the historic couple were destined to bewitch theatres all over the world. The Russian ballerina interpreted dozens of roles in his lifetime, both classic and modern, thanks to his immense technical ability and talent for identifying with the parts he played, working with the greatest choreographers of the times, from Roland Petit and Bejart and Taylor. Afflicted by Aids, Nureyev passed away in a Parisian hospital on 6th January 1993 after a long illness. British designer John Galliano paid homage to the elegant, often bordering on extravagant – especially in later life – style of the unrivalled lord of the dance with his autumn-winter 2011-12 collection by creating 41 ad hoc looks retracing the life of the great Russian ballerina.