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Mme. Hermine

Rudolph Nureyev, Bettie de Jong, Burt Bacharach

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This video is part of the collection of Ruth Page, which the Chicago Film Archive is preserving and putting on line. Here is a summary of the program that I found. This is only the segment with Nureyev.

U.S. TV show. Mar-14-71. Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones, Barbra Streisand, Rudolf Nureyev. This TV special celebrates the music of Burt Bacharach and is presented as follows; Bacharach plays a bit of his song "All Kinds of People," then talks with Tom Jones.

Jones says that Burt is a "complete musician" with many skills. Jones then performs "Any Day Now," after which he and Bacharach discuss the first time they met and Bacharach's surprise at the Welshman's "American soul" style. Jones mentions his working-class background; they then perform "Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head."

Bacharach then teams up with famed ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev who partners with Bettie de Jong to perform a circus-themed ballet to Bacharach's music from, "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."

Bacharach then talks with Barbra Streisand about her work and her love of recording, and she sings "One Less Bell to Answer" with Burt's accompaniment, followed by "A House is Not a Home." Burt teases Barbara for not recording "Alfie, until 64 other singers did. Together they perform "Close To You," followed by a new song he has written especially for Barbra called, "Be Aware," backed by a full orchestra.

Burt conducts a medley of his other songs as played by the orchestra, including "Alfie," "I'll Never Fall in Love Again," "What the World Needs Now" and others. The program closes with a reprise of "All Kinds of People," during which Streisand and Bacharach are joined by a large, diverse chorus. Burt Bacharach, Tom Jones, Barbra Streisand, Rudolf Nureyev.

Must mention that the video will not play with Internet Explorer; it was fine with Chrome.


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A really interesting find, Mme. Hermine! I like anything on Bacharach to begin with, but this broadcast was an unexpected pleasure. Bettie de Jong was an impressive mechanical doll, verging on creepy.

I couldn't play the video in Firefox, but it worked for me in Safari. Correction, it did eventually work in Firefox, but on first clicking on the video, absolutely nothing happens for a number of seconds, but then it kicks in...

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Chicago has a real treasure trove of film -- bless them for putting so much online.

This looks like an adaptation of Paul Taylor's Big Bertha -- I know Nureyev performed with the company, but didn't know he did this work.

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