NureyevThe Russian Years
Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:15 PM
What did you all think of the show?
Posted 29 August 2007 - 07:36 PM
I also wished I had seen him live before I did when he already seemed as if he was exhausted, back in 1984.
I am not as familiar with Classical (Romantic) repertoire as others (especially you, Mel) who participate in these panels, but watching the Bluebird variation, the coda of the solo in Sleeping Beauty and the solo in Swan Lake, (I had no idea that the Prince had fouettees, too!) his energy and beauty floored me. I was cheering and clapping in my living room, scaring my cats. Plus, I, who don't usually like all the "emoting" in Giselle, was just mesmerized watching him with that big bouquet of lillies.
The early films, taken by his friend, "for him to study" were a privilege to see, and very interesting. His drive was just unmatchable.
The spy story part, the behavior of the Soviets, was just horrific. What brutes. What they did also to his friends and family, what they wanted to do to him ("break his legs"), and what they did do when he performed with de Cuevas was unforgivable.
It was also wonderful to hear him speak, to see those close-ups of him -- the first ones where he said nothing, and later in the film where he spoke -- were beautiful and thrilling.
No superlatives left.
Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:20 PM
Nureyev was well accustomed to putting on faces not his own. He probably understood that playing cool and playful would communicate a confidence in his own innocence. I remember reading, not at the time but not too long after, that he understood the Cold War Era diplomatic and pr value to the US in not deporting him.
What struck me about this excellent portrait was an enduring paradox -- how at once he seems so knowable and so completely not. Another layer of his mystique.
Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:21 PM
I was surprised that Alla Sizova wasn't mentioned, and wasn't described as his partner. She was the unshown dancer in the 1958 Corsaire clip -- the full version of that, in black and white, is commercially available, and she's stunning. Her career, one reads, was very negatively affected by Nureyev's defection. But now she's a nonperson?
Are we the only ones who watched? What did you think?
Posted 29 August 2007 - 08:55 PM
Posted 29 August 2007 - 09:04 PM
After the early 1970s he didn't have Volkova, and that may have made a difference. The 1962-69 years (which I didn't see) were when he was working intensely with her. Also, after 1970 he was a guest artist, rather than more regular company member, with the Royal -- there's one interview where he said "they had no more use for me." Guest hopping all over the world without regular classes must have taken their toll, too. He wanted to be a jet-age dancer, but it had its price.
Posted 30 August 2007 - 03:02 AM
It's it amazing how an artist can become a political tool or football? I mean really, what doses dance have to do with communism or capitalism? Great artists are passionate about life.
Posted 30 August 2007 - 03:28 AM
Posted 30 August 2007 - 05:42 AM
Your point is well taken. It's the way authoritarian governments abuse the notion of freedom which is a part of humans (and animals) which is appalling. Seeing how such incredible dancers existed despite of and not because of the Soviet is indeed a lesson that the artist is driven by something inside and their love and passion for art. Rudi seemed to be very in tune with visual beauty and actually cried (so they say) in Notre Dame and I don't think it had a think to do with the Christian god, despite the church being responsible for so much of the art from the dark ages through the enlightenment.
There was no mention of Rudi's religion... unless I missed it. Was he an atheist?
Posted 30 August 2007 - 06:08 AM
I don't think he practiced it, but he was Muslim. There's a story in his autobiography of how the family living with them when he was a very young child, who was Christian, tried to bribe him with food to say Christian prayers, and he refused.
I think one of the wisest things in the film was something Theismar said (others have said it to, but she said it very well): his religion was dance, and beauty. The reaction in the church, I'm sure, was an aesthetic one.
Posted 30 August 2007 - 06:29 AM
Would you watch it again if you had the chance? How was the archival footage of Rudi?
Posted 30 August 2007 - 06:45 AM
I'm not sure it's out on DVD yet -- the Kavanagh biography is available on the PBS site, but not the DVD, and it's not on Amazon either. But when it is, yes, I think the archival footage is worth it. There's film of Nureyev with the De Cuevas company as well as in Russia.
Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:09 AM
Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:11 AM
What did you all think of the show?
I thought the film a little shapeless and drawn out. And the splicing back and forth on some of the dance clips was horrid.
But I thought the footage filmed by Teja(sp?) was mesmerizing, truly a treasure . And although I've picked up a lot on the forces that drove him from other sources the film was good in presenting them.
Posted 30 August 2007 - 07:57 AM
of RN at least doing the Shade scene. It was my one regret as my ballet watching/loving progressed.
IMO I always imagined Rudolf as a magnificant Solor. So the brief view, showed me what I imagined for years was true! Bravo RN forever.
Mel or anyone. If anyone saw him as Solor in the 60's, could you decribe the experience?
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