toeprints

New Nureyev Film

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Is anyone aware of a new film about Rudolf Nureyev, titled "Nureyev?"

According to an article on the Canadian TV website, regarding the show "So You Think You Can Dance Canada," Nico Archambault, last December's winner, has recently been cast "as the iconic ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev in "Nureyev" - the upcoming dance drama about the dancer's legacy."

I googled Nico and discovered that he is a contemporary, hip-hop dancer; age 24, with multiple facial piercings and a mini-mohawk. Not exactly the type I would expect to portray Rudolf!

I don't know who I would like to see in a film about Nureyev - the ones I had previously thought of are either retired or too old now.

Who do you think could do justice in a portrayal of Rudolf?

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Is anyone aware of a new film about Rudolf Nureyev, titled "Nureyev?"

According to an article on the Canadian TV website, regarding the show "So You Think You Can Dance Canada," Nico Archambault, last December's winner, has recently been cast "as the iconic ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev in "Nureyev" - the upcoming dance drama about the dancer's legacy."

This must be the film....

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This must be the film....
Nureyev is a one-hour dance drama / mock documentary exploring Rudolph Nureyev's legacy. The film is a unique film dramatization about Nureyev's life story created primarily though dance. The story begins with the young Nureyev and continues through his life, dramatizing his growing artistry through relationships, his brush with death, and ultimately ending with his death at 55 years old. This film is an amalgamation of dance storytelling sequences woven with fictitious interviews, and existing documentary footage.

Sounds like a lot to cover in an hour.

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Thank you for the information. It sounds exhausting, perphaps interesting, but odd.

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I tend to agree with Amy. With regard to toeprints' question:

Who do you think could do justice in a portrayal of Rudolf?

It's an even tougher casting job than Nijinsky, I think.

Thanks for telling us about the film, toeprints. It sounds as if it will air in Canada first, so I hope our Canadian readers tell us about it.

(Just curious, toeprints - which dancers from the past did you have in mind?)

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dirac,

I could never envision just one person portraying Rudolf, but a combination of a few dancers. My amalgam would consist of Charles Jude, Farouk Ruzimatov, Konstantin Zalinsky, Patrick Armand, and Irek Mukhamedov. They all possess certain traits and abilities that remind me of Rudolf. Charles and Konstantin are the only two dancers, other than Rudolf (of course), who held my attention enough that I didn't notice the scenery.

I haven't been able to travel as much as before, so I am not sure who among the current dancers I would include in my mix.

Are you able to think of anyone? It really does seem to be an impossibility, doesn't it.

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You couldn’t really hope for a perfect match, just one that is close enough. Maybe Nicolas Le Riche, whose performances I know only from video.

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First a film about Fonteyn and now one about Nureyev, I find this very depressing.

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I've seen Nico on TV and he is certainly talented but not a ballet-type at all in his dancing.

I did see a short clip on the news and it shows him dancing with NBoC's Greta Hodgkinson.

Not really sure what to make of it...

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There has been a few articles in "Google News" about Nico learning ballet during the last few months! He claims that he doesn't have the knees for ballet (?). Oh well, perhaps this special will be a good idea after all and bring a younger audience into the world of ballet, and they will be curious about this phenomenon called "Nureyev."

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The film will be on Canadian tv on December 1, 2009, at 9 P.M., on the Canadian Bravo channel. No report about the U.S. Bravo airing the film. I hope some of the Canadian members will give us a critique.

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The Bravo site describes the film this way.

"Nureyev" is a dance drama created especially for television exploring the life of the great Russian dancer, Rudolph Nureyev who defected to the West in 1961. Integrating original choreography created for the screen, dramatic scenes and archival footage, the film presents a multi-faceted portrait of one of the seminal performing arts figures of our time.

http://www.bravo.ca/SCHEDULE/Default.aspx?date=12-1-2009

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Thank you for that info. I am curious about the film, although I still cannot fathom a non-ballet person portraying Rudi. I guess I really need to keep an open mind!

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Posted by an associate of the film, "Nureyev", airing on Bravo! Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 9 pm:

The film is an exploration, through dance and dramatic monologues, of Nureyev's mythology and the psychology which permeated his rise to fame and defection. It does not purport to show or capture Nureyev's glory as a ballet dancer as there are countless films already in existence which provide that. Instead, the film uses dance to reveal Nureyev's narrative, especially his relations with his family, friends and lovers. What is unique about this film is that it is the very first time that dance has been used to explore Nureyev's story. In essence, even though the film is based on real people, it is a piece of fiction much like any cinematic biography where characters and situations are combined to create a dramatic story.

The lead is played by Nico Archambault, a dancer new to ballet but a figure who has captured the fascination of audiences through his wonderful charisma, masculinity, charm and charged sexuality. As mentioned, he does not not attempt to capture Nureyev, the classical dancer, but rather pays a heartfelt tribute to him and the emotional forces that shaped him. The film is staged as a live concert but combines elements of a memory film (flashbacks and flashforwards) to provide glimpses into his inner life. The film will air on Bravo! (in Canada) on Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 9 pm EST. For those wishing to see the film outside of Canada, DVDs will be available in the near future. Please see the Facebook page where all the details will be posted.

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Sounds very camp.

Thanks to today's news links I now know that the film was directed by Moze Mossanen, so I'm going to bet that it's going to be very camp indeed. I'm predicting a low-rent movie musical approach, but I hope I'm wrong.

This is the only film on Nureyev where his life is captured in dance sequences and choreography especially created for a film.

“It hadn’t been done before – to tell his life using the medium he was known for – dance. I could see that it could really work. I approached Nureyev not as a celebrity but more as a mythology. I thought of him as a mythological character.”

...

Your film features fictitious figures that talk about Nureyev such as the KGB officer, an arts critic and a former Russian classmate. Were you ever concerned that viewers would react negatively to these fictitious figures?

“No, I wasn’t worried about that. This is a dance drama. It is a film about Nureyev’s psychology and his mythology. That’s what I was really after.”

Although the film features Greta Hodgkinson and Etienne Lavigne of the National Ballet of Canada, this doesn't necessarily mean that there will be a whole lof of ballet in it. Mossanen's film "Roxana" also starred Hodgkinson and included no ballet whatsoever, though there was lots of go-go dancing.

http://www.corrieretandem.com/viewstory.php?storyid=9629

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The film was about what I expected. Mostly it consists of dance sequences choreographed by Matjash Mrozewski:

a quasi-folk dance for young Rudik and his parents (mother sympathetic, father not so much);

a duet for young Rudolf and Aleksandr Pushkin;

as a young dancer at the Kirov (an homage to Nureyev in the Le Corsaire pas de deux);

a trio for rebel Rudi and a pair of apparatchiks;

Nureyev running through the streets of Paris;

a duet for Nureyev and Erik Bruhn (Etienne Lavigne) that turns into a trio with Margot Fonteyn (Greta Hodgkinson);

Rudi living the high life with the likes of Fonteyn, Jackie Kennedy, Twiggy, Martha Graham (who, naturally, fails to crack a smile amid the jet-set partying) and Andy Warhol, ending with a forlorn looking Fonteyn as Bruhn leads Nureyev away;

cruising for male prostitutes along the Seine, the men turning into images of Bruhn;

a final duet depicting the death of Bruhn, which grows to encompass the deaths of the prostitutes, those left behind in Russia and finally Fonteyn;

a solo depicting Nureyev's physical decline;

a final trio with the men in black;

and finally a celestial reunion (I kid you not) with his parents, Pushkin, Bruhn and Fonteyn

The "Le Corsaire" sequence in particular does no favours for Nico Archambault. When bare-chested his flared ribcage makes it all too obvious that he lacks abdominal support and isn't able to keep his spine straight. Otherwise the choreography avoids balletic vocabulary for him. His presence is sympathetic enough, but he has nothing of what made Nureyev such an electrifying star. Since he is a ballet dancer, Lavigne makes a more credible Bruhn, though he lacks Bruhn's beauty and hauteur. Hodgkinson shares dark eyes and hair with Fonteyn, but she's much taller and thinner. Her dancing is lovely, but it doesn't resemble Fonteyn.

The music for the dance sequences is appalling, ranging from synthesized arrangements of Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev to completely forgettable original music.

In between the dance sequences are monologues by fictitious characters: a female fellow student at the Vaganova Academy, Nureyev's KGB handler (who doesn't know how to pronounce "dacha"), a flight attendant, an obsessive fan, a gay cruiser and a snooty critic (English, of course). Among them, Rosemary Dunsmore as the flight attendant delivers her lines most naturally.

The film is meant to fill a commercial hour of television, so it's only about 45 minutes long. It ends with a dedication to Nureyev, though I'm not sure he would need or want such a tribute. All those Nureyev documentaries with the familiar newsreel footage are much more illuminating. Mostly I'm amazed at the gall of the filmmakers who believe that they have sufficient insight into the heart and mind of Nureyev to force the rest of us to watch this self-indulgence, which also happens to be quite boring.

Oh, well. Perhaps this film can be paired up with the BBC's new Fonteyn biopic for DVD release. :flowers:

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I agree with you, volcanohunter. It was not a good film. It also disturbed me that the peripheral characters hardly resembled the real people they were meant to portray. For one instance, the dancer who was supposed to be Jackie Kennedy was too short. "Nureyev" towered over her. This particular ballet dancer is my daughter's close friend and is 5'2" tall. When we heard she was chosen to be Jackie, I was perplexed as to the choice of role for her. She doesn't look a bit like Jackie, either. The pillbox hat and perhaps the hairdo were the only thing that identified her. Perhaps the filmmaker thought that these roles were such a blip in the whole film that no one would notice? Someone always notices!

I think that Greta Hodgkinson at least resembles Margot Fonteyn somewhat. Her husband, Etienne Lavigne, also has something of Erik Bruhn in his face, if not in his manner. Nico Archambault had zero charisma, which is the worst casting error made in this film. It was his charisma that carried Nureyev throughout his life, even unto death. I liked Rosemary Dunsmore, who was looking better than ever with her longer hair.

This film gets a pass from me and I doubt I'd want to sit through it again.

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and finally a celestial reunion (I kid you not) with his parents, Pushkin, Bruhn and Fonteyn

So, it's a comedy?

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Would seem so, were it not veiled in an eerie, otherworldly solemnity.

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The pillbox hat and perhaps the hairdo were the only thing that identified her.

You've put your finger on it. In this film hairstyles pass for characterization.

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The film was about what I expected. Mostly it consists of dance sequences choreographed by Matjash Mrozewski:

a quasi-folk dance for young Rudik and his parents (mother sympathetic, father not so much);

a duet for young Rudolf and Aleksandr Pushkin;

as a young dancer at the Kirov (an homage to Nureyev in the Le Corsaire pas de deux);

a trio for rebel Rudi and a pair of apparatchiks;

Nureyev running through the streets of Paris;

a duet for Nureyev and Erik Bruhn (Etienne Lavigne) that turns into a trio with Margot Fonteyn (Greta Hodgkinson);

Rudi living the high life with the likes of Fonteyn, Jackie Kennedy, Twiggy, Martha Graham (who, naturally, fails to crack a smile amid the jet-set partying) and Andy Warhol, ending with a forlorn looking Fonteyn as Bruhn leads Nureyev away;

cruising for male prostitutes along the Seine, the men turning into images of Bruhn;

a final duet depicting the death of Bruhn, which grows to encompass the deaths of the prostitutes, those left behind in Russia and finally Fonteyn;

a solo depicting Nureyev's physical decline;

a final trio with the men in black;

and finally a celestial reunion (I kid you not) with his parents, Pushkin, Bruhn and Fonteyn

Sounds like a Boris Eifman ballet.

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Don't give anyone ideas. :dry:

You got there faster than I did :flowers:

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