Jump to content


This site uses cookies. By using this site, you agree to accept cookies, unless you've opted out. (US government web page with instructions to opt out: http://www.usa.gov/optout-instructions.shtml)

NureyevThe Russian Years


  • Please log in to reply
66 replies to this topic

#16 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 839 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 08:16 AM

I liked the opening closeup a lot. Nureyev looked a little like Pierre Clementi and Godard could have been the director. I don't think it was bad as those documentaries go, though the shadow of the projector whirling away was pretty hokey, and it obscured some of the footage. The Bluebird footage was thrilling.

The restaging of the circumstances of Nureyev's flight to the West very moving. It wasn't inevitable, just a sort of existential choice (with a little prompting) and you wonder what his life would have been if he hadn't made the leap. To leave your homeland: not a just a little walk across a field. I wonder how much chaos his defection did cause in his friends lives, or if it was just another trouble that everyone had then.

He cried at St. Chapelle.

#17 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,269 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 08:49 AM

It's it amazing how an artist can become a political tool

It's beyond amazing...is sad, and hard to digest, but it still hapens...I can imagine how frightened Nureyev must have lived during and after his defection...

what doses dance have to do with communism or capitalism?


Dancers in a communism society are not meant to be individual stars, but part of a whole that goes beyond the ballet itself. They represent the governmental self proclaimed superior cultural force based on a still sustained theory of a socialist masses movement success vs. individuality capitalist egocentrism and star system. Go figure... :bow:

#18 kfw

kfw

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,320 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 08:55 AM

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 .

I thought the whole thing was visually mesmerizing: not just the dance footage, but the Russian countryside, the Russian architecture inside and out, the graveside drills, the interiors of the homes of Nureyev's old friends, plus the closeups of their faces and his, so full of character and feeling . . . what a feast!

#19 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:17 AM

Very interesting, enjoyable, and (I thought) well-put-together.

I was surprised that Alla Sizova wasn't mentioned, and wasn't described as his partner

Me too. It was interesting to see his other partner (who's name I do not remember -- Kurlgapina?) She's feisty and obviously considers herself to be on par with Nureyev, something of soul sister as far as rebelliousness was concerned, and a victim of discrimination in the aftermath of his defection.

Among the highlights for me:

Being able to observe the enormous technical improvements he made in the few years after that famous 1958 student recital film.

The chance to see the Bluebird excerpts (fuzzy though they were) from the Cuevas Sleeping Beauty. Now that is something I'm sorry I misssed.

The enormous dignity and sensitivity of those who had been his close friends and shared those early days in Leningrad. It was a delight to see them and hear from them, several of them speaking wonderfully expressive English. Teja Kremke's sister and daughter also impressed me. It was beautiful to watch the woman who was one of his earliest friends in Leningrad, whose academic career was ruined after the defection, as she described her memories. And the same holds for the Romanian roomate at the ballet academy. It says something very important about Nureyev that he was able to attract and hold friends like these.

The chance to see and listen to Ghislaine Thesmar as she is today -- and to discover that she has become, in her older age, the spitting image of my beautiful next-door neighbor, Susan.

The description of the defection at Le Bourget is familiar from the Diane Solway biography-- and I remember a good deal of it from newspapers and magazines (and newsreels, which were still around in those days). But it was gripping to see Pierre Lacotte go through it again in the actual location, and to watch the cross-cutting with original shots from 1961.

A couple of things I didn't like:

The discussion of his relationship with Menia Martinez is illustrated with a pdd with Lucette Aldous, from a much later performance of Don Quijote (the Australian Ballet video?) that could only mislead people who don't know about later developments in his career. The only excuse is that the ballet's theme -- like Ms. Martinez -- his Hispanic.

The footage from a much later performance of Glen Tetley's Pierre Lunaire, used (quite tackily, it seems to me) to illustrate his emotional suffering during the post-defection period.

The decision to footage from Marguerite and Armand that shows Fonteyn in a very unflattering light -- old, stiff, completely out of her league. When was that video shot? This is not the Margot we saw and remember from the early years of their partnership.

In general, Nureyev's partners do not fare well in this documentary. Completely ignored is his ability to create a "chemistry" of sexuality and passion with a female partner on stage. Even in the Romeo and Juliet snippet (repeated once), Fonteyn is mostly standing watching. Aldous is exposed as being out of her league. Sizova is eliminated entirely from the 1958 performance, as Alexandra noted. This is unfair to Nureyev's partners. Nureyev, a gentleman despite his notorious egocentrity, would certainly have disapproved..

#20 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:20 AM

Great Performances

Nureyev: The Russian Years

A profile of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993).

Sunday, September 02, 12:40 AM

WNET - Channel 13

Here's another broadcast, at least for Channel 13 watchers.

There was a New York Times article about Nureyev sometime in the 80s--early or mid--in which he said he no longer missed Russia at all, although that's not the exact quote. One can leave one's homeland and feel that way occasionally--glad to get out of it--and go back into a mood of having deep reverence for it, and he definitely had a love of the lighthearted, parties and carousing, socialites, etc., this is all fine. I'm actually glad he'd not keep missing Russia all the time. I certainly don't miss my 'homeland' nearly all the time, and it's in the U.S.! Anyway, in terms of the narrative, documentaries do like to get all solemn and a little heavy about some things, because they are actually creating something that is at least partly a new fiction.





Here are a bunch of WQED broadcasts:

Great Performances

Nureyev: The Russian Years

A profile of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993).

Friday, August 31, 2:00 AM

WQED - Channel 13


Great Performances

Nureyev: The Russian Years

A profile of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993).

Friday, August 31, 2:00 AM

WQED-DT2 [D]


Great Performances

Nureyev: The Russian Years

A profile of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993).

Friday, August 31, 4:00 AM

WQED - Channel 13


Great Performances

Nureyev: The Russian Years

A profile of ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev (1938-1993).

Friday, August 31, 4:00 AM

WQED-DT2 [D]

#21 richard53dog

richard53dog

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,401 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:26 AM

.

The decision to footage from Marguerite and Armand that shows Fonteyn in a very unflattering light -- old, stiff, completely out of her league. When was that video shot? This is not the Margot we saw and remember from the early years of their partnership.



A title flashed very quickly and I think it said 1979, which would make Fonteyn 60. I didn't understand at all why they used that footage. Even Nureyev was past his best at this point although he still looked very good

#22 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,757 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:28 AM

i was under the impression that was footage of M&A from "I Am A Dancer", which is where I think the shot of him batting at people at the stage door with a flower comes from. ?

#23 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,757 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:34 AM

kurgapkina is 9 years or so older than nureyev was. she's every bit the way she appeared in the film, a real pleasure of a person, with a lot of sizzle. Somewhat OT: Can you imagine BTW having a name that is "lenin" spelled backward?

#24 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:37 AM

A title flashed very quickly and I think it said 1979, which would make Fonteyn 60. I didn't understand at all why they used that footage. Even Nureyev was past his best at this point although he still looked very good

Thanks for that, richard53dog. Some of the captions were very brief.

That date makes the decision to choose that particular clip even more inappropriate. When Fonteyn flees the stage on point it is as if the poor woman just can't wait to get away from the dancing chores, take her shoes off, and have a lie down. Sad and dastaradly to include it, in my opinion.

#25 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:47 AM

i was under the impression that was footage of M&A from "I Am A Dancer", which is where I think the shot of him batting at people at the stage door with a flower comes from. ?


There was that other documentary about Nureyev for television that has that 1979 footage, doesn't it? Doesn't 'I am a Dancer' have the 'M & A' footage of the development of it, and when they first performed it? Unless the 1979 clip is from a Fonteyn documentary, I saw them all about a year ago, and now they've run together.

#26 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,757 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:53 AM

to make it even more confusing i think that series that makarova did called 'ballerina' also included some footage of it. would have been nice to see some from c 1963, and certainly more flattering to her.

#27 cubanmiamiboy

cubanmiamiboy

    Diamonds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 5,269 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:54 AM

It was beautiful to watch the woman who was one of his earliest friends in Leningrad, whose academic career was ruined after the defection, as she described her memories. And the same holds for the Romanian roomate at the ballet academy. It says something very important about Nureyev that he was able to attract and hold friends like these.


I specially loved Nureyev's Romanian roommate stories. Somwhere , and refering to Rudy's body, he said something like "People like a good body physique, and if this body is dancing, then is a masterpiece". I think it was a beautiful idea.

A couple of things I didn't like:
The discussion of his relationship with Menia Martinez is illustrated with Lucette Aldous, from a much later performance of Don Quijote (the Australian Balle video?) that could only confuse people who don't know the story well.


I totally agree. That was annoying...

#28 Mme. Hermine

Mme. Hermine

    Emeralds Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,757 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 09:57 AM

the romanian man was sergiu stefanschi; he was a principal in canada and i think he still teaches there.

#29 printscess

printscess

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 296 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 12:00 PM

My mother forgot to tape it!!!! I reminded her (being without a TV in the dorms is an odd experience) about 50 times and sent an email, and she called me this morning and told me that she forgot. I was wondering if the DVD was worth buying or if the book were worth buying as well.

Would you watch it again if you had the chance? How was the archival footage of Rudi?



I am sure that PBS with air it again. They usually will repeat a program like that.

#30 papeetepatrick

papeetepatrick

    Sapphire Circle

  • Inactive Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,486 posts

Posted 30 August 2007 - 12:03 PM

I am sure that PBS with air it again. They usually will repeat a program like that.

In case you missed the ones on WQED tonight, ngitanjali, that I posted, just look at the pbs website, put in your zip code (or your mother's) and search for 'Nureyev the Russian Years'. Probably get it tonight.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):