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Leigh Witchel

Nureyev in "Swine Lake"

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A fellow balletalerter had given me this tape as a wonderful gift a while back - a good case of the flu means I finally got the time to watch it.

I only saw Nureyev once on stage, when the POB came here around '87. It was a treat to see him closer to his physical prime. I checked on the NYPL website to find out who his partner was in "Swine Lake" - it was Graham Fletcher of the Royal Ballet, who must have been small, he played Kolya in A Month in the Country.

There's really only a small amount of dancing in the show, but I was struck by Nureyev's charisma; I also forgot how handsome he was. I could empathize with Miss Piggy in the sauna number (she nearly corners him, he barely escapes with his towel, all to "Baby, it's Cold Outside".) Funny how charisma is a gift of its own. It didn't take any dancing for me to know he could hold a stage.

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