Rudolf Nureyev

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Nureyev at the time of his defection in 1961
Rudolf Nureyev (Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev, 1938–1993) was a Russian ballet dancer of Tatar ethnicity, who defected to the West in 1961 and became a principal dancer with the Royal Ballet.

He was born on a train on the Trans-Siberian Railway, and brought up in a village in Bashkortostan. He joined the Kirov Ballet's school aged 17.

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