Category Archives: Irek Mukhamedov

David Steen: “I was in Moscow on another story and saw Mukhamedov dance the lead in Spartacus (the youngest ever to dance this role) and it was too good an opportunity to miss. He was happy for me to photograph him. He had been lead soloist with the company at that time for eight years and had been awarded the Hans Christian Andersen Prize for Best Dancer.
Barriers were coming down and movement between countries becoming easier. Unlike in 1961 when Nureyev had to make a dash for freedom in Paris Airport (pleading, ‘Protect me. Protect me.’), when Mukhamedov made the decision in 1990 to leave the Bolshoi and join the Royal Ballet London, it was as simple as that. His arrival inspired Kenneth Macmillan to create a new Pas de Deux for him and Darcey Bussell, which was performed at the Queen Mother’s 90th Birthday Tribute.
He was awarded an OBE in the New Year’s Honours List, January 2000.”

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