The Great Ballet Bust of 1967

On Wednesday, July 12, 1967 the San Francisco Chronicle ran a front page story with a photo and the headline, “The Great Ballet Bust.” Under the sub-headline, “Dancers’ Rooftop Arrest – Charges Dropped,” the story reads, “Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nureyev were arrested early yesterday on rooftops in the Haight-Ashbury district when police raided a wild party. But after a day of deliberation authorities dropped charges against the world’s leading ballet dancers.”Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolph Nuryev had come to The City to dance with the San Francisco Ballet. Dame Margot was 48 years old and Nureyev was 29 at the time they were being briefly held on charges of “disorderly conduct and being in a place where marijuana was kept.” Here is a clip of these well-respected performance artists dancing in 1966:

The M.H. de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park just opened an exhibit called, “Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance,” running through February 17, 2013. The exhibit features, “more than 80 costumes and 50 photographs from the dancer’s personal collection,” according to the Web site description,

In the 1960s, Nureyev was also a famous name in Cold War politics.  His Wikipedia listing says, “Nureyev defected to the West in 1961, despite KGB efforts to stop him. According to KGB archives studied by Peter Watson, (Soviet Premier) Nikita Khrushchev personally signed an order to have Nureyev killed.” Dame Margot died at age 71 in 1991 and Nureyev died at age 54 in 1993.

Best wishes,