Men who employed high demi-pointe poses include: Mikhail Mordkin in Bacchanale if not elsewhere, Nijinsky in Chopiniana, Spectre, Carnaval, Petrushka, Les Orientale. Chabukiani in Don Q and probably elsewhere. Knowledge of the above repertoire and photographic evidence confirms this. Did Nureyevev really have a more stretched and higher arabesque than Soloviev or Vasiliev? I think not!
I think leonid is correct about the issue of the high, trois-quart, demi-pointe in male dancing.
My recollection brings to mind John Gilpin.
It seems to me, that, the innovation that Nureyev introduced to the 'west' after his defection,
is the very high retire position of the working leg in pirouettes en dehors.
[I'll be interested to see his pirouettes in the PBS Russian Years.]
I can't recall any male (at least non-Soviet) dancers placing the working leg around the knee area for
pirouettes before Nureyev's defection.
Nureyev's innovation spred rapidly.
Edited to add last sentence.