Rudolph Nureyev Arrived on a Train and Left on a Jet Plane

Born on a Trans-Siberian train on this day in 1938, Rudolph Nureyev began formal ballet training at age 17 and was immediately elevated to soloist upon joining the Kirov Ballet in 1958. After defecting from the USSR while on tour at a Paris Airport in 1961, Nureyev would become the ballet world’s first male international superstar.

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