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Ballet's international stars dance in tribute to Nureyev

THE Russian dancer Irek Mukhamedov rehearsing Poeme Tragique under the direction of Derek Deane for last night's charity gala tribute to the late Rudolf Nureyev at the London Coliseum.

Ballet enthusiasts watched international stars perform some of Nureyev's best-known pieces and choreography. Proceeds from ticket sales will go to the Aids charity, Crusaid, writes David Lister.

Nureyev died of Aids last year and many of those who worked with him at the Royal Ballet, in Paris and elsewhere, were present. Dame Ninette de Valois, the Royal Ballet's founder, now in her nineties, was there to pay tribute to the dancer whose mentor she often was. Sir Peter Wright, now head of Birmingham Royal Ballet, recalled 'his animalistic bravura which stopped the hearts of many'. The show was an artistic journey through Nureyev's life, featuring some of his own choreography, scenes from ballets in which he made his name, and presenting both international ballet stars and young people from the Paris Opera Ballet whom he encouraged during his time there as director.

A number of unconventional moments drew strong applause, such as Natalia Makarova dancing, as Nureyev once did, with Kermit and Miss Piggy.

Prints of the Nureyev photograph by Laurie Lewis are to be sold to raise money for Crusaid. They are available from the Zelda Cheatle Gallery, Cecil Court, London WC2.

Photographs: Laurie Lewis

(Photographs omitted)