Letter: The affair of the missing ballerina

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Sir: I was lucky to see Rudolf Nureyev in many different roles at various stages of his career, and very much admired his extraordinary contribution to 20th-century dance. With many others, I am delighted to support Crusaid's 'Gala tribute to Rudolf Nureyev and his legacy'.

The apologia by Sylvie Guillem's representative, Leon Morgan (letter, 7 March), ignores the fact that Ms Guillem would hardly have been the only dancer who 'had professional commitments abroad during the relevant period', or for whom 'the trip would have created considerable personal difficulties'. To offer the admittedly extraordinary Herman Schmerman, rather than accede to the organisers' request for something relevant to the gala's theme, shows no understanding of the nature of the event.

It is a pity that Ms Guillem will not be there, as her omission positively blazes from the list of scheduled stars, but Mr Leon's letter does her no service, as it merely draws attention to other performers who are prepared to do whatever it takes to be part of this worthy tribute.

Yours faithfully,

M. D. VARCOE-COCKS

London, W6

7 March

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