16 June 2011

Rudolf Nureyev, 16 June 1961

copyright (c) 2011, Sharon Edmunds
Rudolf Nureyev, 16 June 1961, Mixed Media, 30" x 22"


Fifty years ago today, on June 16th, 1961, at Le Bourget Airport, Paris, France, Rudolf Nureyev did not board the plane waiting to take The Kirov Ballet to London. Neither did he board the plane sent to take him back to Moscow. He declared himself 'Dancer' and from then on, his true country would be 'Dance'.

I have been working on a series of paintings called 'Nureyev's World'. I realized that I wanted to do a painting to mark this anniversary. This moment has so often been referred to as 'Nureyev's Leap to Freedom'. I wasn't interested in that image as a theme.

Nureyev himself, in an interview with Patricia Foy*, for the film titled 'Nureyev' seemed very displeased with the account on record of this day. As he said, 'So, I'd been told, you have to walk very slowly - six steps exactly - and say, 'I want to stay in your country'. That's exactly what I did...no jumping, no running, no screaming.'

Whatever actually happened during those moments when Nureyev was seeking asylum in Paris, the thought that came to my mind, over and over, was all about 'Fate'. No matter how you see your life, no matter how you see what your future may hold, or how you plan for it - fate steps in. And in a heartbeat, your life is changed forever.

Once that became the theme for me, I couldn't get the idea of an image adapted from a Tarot card out of my head. I thought of three cards that might have worked, but really there was only one choice. Nureyev's moment of fate was a completion and a new beginning. He would now start building his World, his way.




* Nureyev's quote is taken from the film 'Nureyev', produced and directed by Patricia Foy (c) 1991 by Antelope Films Limited/Orfeo Films Limited, RM Associates. The DVD titled 'Nureyev' is now distributed by  EMI classics (c) 2008.

The image I used for the starting point of my painting is  'XXI - The World' Tarot card as represented by the Universal Waite deck of Tarot cards.  

14 comments:

  1. Sharon
    After reading what you have written.. the image you have depicted is just perfect... I often see my own life in images of tarot cards [yes a bit nutty].. but for me it is mostly the Tower Card... as I procrastinate so long fate has to step in a force my hand.. The fact you chose the 'world' is truly just perfect... This should be my aim in future.. shoot for the world rather than the tower.. hehehe

    Your painting reminds me of the tiny hand painted world globe at the opening credits of the Gwyneth Paltrow version of Emma.. Not sure if you know it.. but that is what first came to mind.. and I've always loved that little globe for some reason... representing her own small but colourful world she lived in ...

    Have a lovely weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

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  2. What a lovely painting Sharon and I really enjoyed your post along with it.
    Hugs, Amy

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  3. Awww Julie, Thank you! And you know I wouldn't think that's nutty at all...but stop with the Tower card already! I've seen your World view. It is very good. Much better card for you!

    No, I haven't seen 'Emma' yet - and I've wanted to. Next rainy day - I'll watch for the globe.

    Hope you're feeling much better now and that your weekend is wonderful.

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  4. Amy, Thank you. With the on-going Blogger issues I've really missed you. Hope your weekend is warm and wonderful.

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  5. Interesting post about Nureyev--different kind of guy! I have to say I'm more drawn to your more graphic pieces. This seems very delicate compared to your other paintings that project strong images. Maybe its just me. Emma is a wonderful movie too btw. Something good for a rainy day.

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  6. Sharon,what a lovely painting and a story behind it!

    I do believe in Fate, but I also believe that one has to make these "6 steps".

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  7. Hello Elena,(& Russ). Thank you! And I do agree with you. Fate does it's thing, but it is how you meet it, that ultimately determines your future.

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  8. Hi Stepahnie! Thank you for sharing your point of view. I do understand what you are saying.

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  9. And STEPHANIE - sorry about the typo! I shouldn't be typing. I've had way too much coffee.

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  10. The painting looks great, thanks for sharing.

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  11. Hello Toyin, Welcome! and thank you for your comment. I'm happy that you like the painting - my pleasure!

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  12. Hi Sharon
    Just stopped back in to say thanks for the kind comments... Hoping my flu is getting the flick now.. in fact I'm treating that blue lady a bit like Dorian Grey in reverse.. hehehehe...

    Have a lovely weekend.. ciao xxx Julie

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  13. Hi Julie, Hope you're finally feeling better?!? I loved that post and thought your name for the Blue Lady was very clever. Also, the fact that you could actually get her to smile! Hope it works.

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  14. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work.You put really very helpful information. Keep it up. Keep blogging. Looking to reading your next post. house painters New lenox

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