Laurent Hilaire on Rudolf Nureyev and La Bayadère

 

“… the premiere of La Bayadère was more than a ballet for Rudolf and everybody around. This is the idea that I love about La Bayadère — that you have someone approaching death, who is dying, and instead of his death, he gives us this wonderful ballet.” – Laurent Hilaire

Foto: Isabelle Guérin and Laurent Hilaire via Baletissimo

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7 thoughts on “Laurent Hilaire on Rudolf Nureyev and La Bayadère

  1. Those of us who were there, Laurent, will never forget that incredibly emotional performance- not just by you and Elisabeth Platel and Isabelle Guerin…but by every dancer on that stage. You danced for him with your hearts and souls, and Rudolf was so deeply moved. As his friend and as a dancer, I will take the memory of that performance to my grave. Thank you Laurent for posting your remembrance. Linda Maybarduk

    1. Linda, I am not Laurent Hilaire. My name is Juliana and I have this blog here to post the things I like. But yes, I have decided to post a quote from Laurent here because it was very special. I am not sure if you have seen a documentary called Dancing through darkness about Rudolf’s last years with the Paris Opera. Every time I watch it I cry. There is another documentary on the La Bayadère production called Dancer’s dreams. The Bayadère premiere must have been very special and unforgettable indeed. It is actually a historical moment. Rudolf will always be the best dancer of all times and a wonderful human being. He gave the best of himself to the dance world and to all of us. It was amazing how involved he was with this production, then he went to Russia himself to look for the original score. It must have been a real privilege to get to know him.

      I thought I would never find anyone who actually was at Paris Opera on that day. So I am very touched with your testimonial. Thank you very much for posting it.

      All the best, Juliana

      1. Juliana,
        I am not sure if you are aware of my book, The Dancer Who Flew: A Memior of Rudolf Nureyev. After he died, I was unhappy with some of the books written about him….. and so several well-known writers insisted I write my own remembrances of Rudolf from a dancer’s point of view. Although more adults have read it than young-adults (for whom I wrote it in order to pass on some of Rudolf’s wisdom to future generations), it does give the reader of any age an insight into what it was like to work with him , be partnered by him, and to know him as a friend and mentor. I was the first dancer to write about Rudolf after he died, and I am happy to say that many of his friends and fans felt my book came the closest to capturing his spirit. Marcel Marceau read it and asked me to write his biography, but alas, that did not come to be. If you are interested, you could find it on Amazon or order it from a local book store. Sadly, it is only published in English. I agree with you, there was no one like Rudolf, and I find it hard to believe that he has been gone for almost 20 years.

        1. Linda,
          I know about your book and I have read a lot about yourself as well — I have read the reviews though — I know you were close friends. I haven`t had the chance to read it yet, but I certainly will. Unfortunately I am in the process finishing my masters degree, so I haven’t had enough time to explore the things I like. I am really interested about your views on him as a dancer and as a friend. I think you are right. It is amazing that a lot of young people do not know who he was and what he meant to the ballet world. The impact he caused when he arrived at the Royal Opera House as well as around the world, and of course Paris Opera. I think that young people should know more about dance. It is amazing to see that every girl, at least once in a life time has dreamed of being a ballerina, but when you go for a night out at the ballet, you look around at the audience and most people seem to be around their 40s or over. So it makes sense when you say that more adult read your book than younger people. But I think that people should know who Rudolf was, especially those who wish to pursue a dancing career. There are still some galas made for him, but it is not enough. I do want know more about his daring personality and his passion for dance. As soon as I finish my course, I will read your book and I will come back with questions, if I may.

  2. I have this on dvd, you are amazing. To think that you worked with this great genius who gave every drop of himself to the last. I have about every book written about him. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Karen,

      It is such a beautiful ballet. I love every thing about it. I have seen other productions, but this one is special. Not only because it was so well prepared, but because of Rudolf. Yes he gave us every drop of himself to the last. Actually, I think he did the impossible. I have just written above. I am not sure if you I have seen the documentary Dancing through Darkness Rudolf’s last years with the Paris Opera and the Bayadère’s production. If not, don’t miss out. I will never forget the day when he died and the news showed the Paris Opera dancers throwing their pointe shoes into the grave. Years later I caught myself reading his biography and the scene was described in the book.

      Thanks for your comments. Juliana

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