This striking and moving documentary from BAFTA nominated directors Jacqui and David Morris traces the extraordinary life of Rudolf Nureyev. From his birth in the 5th class carriage of a ...
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Dance, espionage and passion come together in this powerful and exciting docudrama that tells the extraordinary story of how Soviet ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West in 1961 and became a living legend.
Richard Curson Smith
Revealing new look at Judy Garland fifty years after her tragic, untimely death. Fusing the unpublished recollections of producer, manager and third husband, Sid Luft, with film clips, rare concert footage and Judy's own inimitable words.
In a ground-breaking innovation for a feature-length documentary, newly commissioned dance sequences are woven with archive footage - and interviews with those that really knew him - to tell the epic tale of Rudolf Nureyev's life.
This striking and moving documentary from BAFTA nominated directors Jacqui and David Morris traces the extraordinary life of Rudolf Nureyev. From his birth in the 5th class carriage of a trans-Siberian train, to his dramatic leap to freedom in the West at the height of the Cold War, and unprecedented adulation as the most famous dancer in the world. The film highlights Nureyev's unlikely yet legendary partnership with Margot Fonteyn and charts his meteoric rise to the status of global cultural phenomenon. Nureyev's life plays out like the sweeping plot of a classic Russian novel. His story is Russia's story. Blending never-before-seen footage, with an original score by award-winning composer Alex Baranowski and spellbinding newly choreographed dance tableaux directed by Royal Ballet alumnus, Russell Maliphant, Nureyev is a theatrical and cinematic experience like no other. This is a portrayal as unique as the man himself. There will never be another Nureyev.
I saw this movie last night at a packed house in NYC. As one who started following ballet very closely during this time period, I was spellbound throughout. The unseen footage alone was worth the price of admission.
I was fortunate to see almost all of these dancers in my youth.
The movie covers as much of his life as one could expect in two hours. Aside from showing his sine qua non love of dance, there are insights into his romantic relationship with Erik Bruhn, a Danish contemporary who preceded him in death, and even deeper insights into his love for Margot Fonteyn, whose death two years prior to his own simply devastated him. There are brief and poignant poetry quotes throughout that are lifting and on point.
There are also aspects which cover his Russian youth, his defection, his relationship with his mother and his untimely death from AIDS. The movie is to be applauded for it's handling of this final chapter of his life. It is matter-of-fact told with great sensitivity, yet not turning the subject matter into a political commentary.
In the mid 70's there were one or two classical dancers who, if based on an Olympic scoring system, actually would have scored a point or two above Nureyev on a technical scale. This was not mentioned in the movie nor should it have been. It didn't matter. There was no contest when they took the stage. While other men danced the roles to perfection, Nureyev made love to and devoured them at the same time. When he took the stage, you knew it. It was like no one else.
The movie was not without faults. The sound quality was south of acceptable and at other times when there was narration over footage, the music did not match up with the piece being shown. This was somewhat annoying.
Nonetheless it touched me in a way I find hard to explain. That was 18 hours ago. If the documentary ran that long, I would still be in the theater.
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