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I've been looking for a video/dvd featuring Jeune homme et la mort.

I know there is a glimpse of it at the beginning of White Nights but I'm wondering if there is a video out there that features the entire piece.

I saw (on a website) that Nureyev was in a movie about it in the 60s but everything I find now lists it as a book.

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happy to know that someone here has unearthed the item that was nagging in the back of my so-called memory but which i could not recall. this film of JEUNE HOMME w/ jeanmaire and nureyev is a specially filmed 'version' by petit for television, it is indeed longer than the excerpts on WHITE NIGHTS, even it it's not a straight record of how the ballet looked on stage. i've never heard over the years of there being any other film(s) of the work on stage. the odd documentary on babilee over the years has shown clips but i don't think the first cast was ever filmed in the work from beginning to the end.

here's how the n.y.pub.lib. for the perf.arts lists it in its cat.

A young man and death 1965. 16 1/2 min. 590 ft. : sd. color.

Notes :A revised version of Roland Petit's 1946 ballet, Le jeune homme et la Mort, directed for French television by the choreographer. Executive producer: Pierre Jourdan, Producer: Denise Tual.

:Choreography: Roland Petit. Music: Johann Sebastian Bach (Passacaglia and fugue in C minor). Libretto: Jean Cocteau. Scenery: J. A. Piltant after Georges Wakhevitch.

:Performed by Zizi Jeanmaire and Rudolf Nureyev.

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The Solway biography of Nureyev calls this "one of the first dance films staged for the camea and not simply a filmed stage performance. Petiti directed it after working on a number of movies in Hollywood. Thinking that rudolf had 'the face of a movie star,' Petit edited the film to make ample use of close-ups."

There's a discussion of this production on the following link:

Article on Jeune Homme/ Nureyev

You'll need to scroll down a bit.

Both ABT and the Kirov have this in rep. ABT's 1951 premier had the same leads as the ballet's first performance in Paris in 1946, Jean Babilee and Nathallie Philippart. I found a photo of Diana Vishneva as the death figure, with (I think) Farouk Ruzimatov, in the Kirov production. Here's the Link.


Vishneva in Jeune Homme

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MissChristine, if you are going to be in NY this winter you might want to note that Jeunne Homme is on the bill for the Kings of Dance performances at City Center in Feb. Right now it looks as if Vishneva will take the role of Death. It's not clear whether Kobberg, Steifel, Tiskaridze or Corella will dance the young man, or if they will all alternate in the role.

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"Jeune Homme" has had a fascinating film history, it would seem. Cocteau wanted a film version, and asked the American film maker Kenneth Anger to film it in 1951:


Evidently this project was started, but not completed.

In a recent documentary that I have not seen, "Le Mystere Babilee," there is apparently footage of Jean Babilee and his wife Natalie Philippart, the orginal cast of the ballet. Also, a film of the dance dating from 1962 and starring Babilee with Claire Sombert was reportedly shown this year in Centre Pompidou's videodanse festival. One can only hope that this will somehow make it onto dvd. I'd be willing to pay full price for a 15 minute dvd: Having seen Babilee in this role (not that many years ago, he must have been around 60--can anyone else remember this NYC performance?), he was immensely powerful, more intense than even the great Nureyev. I gather that he was still performing a couple of years ago at age 80 (but not this ballet). Surely among the greatest dancers of the 20th century.

I've seen Nureyev perform this, and I feel the film version is a good and honest presentation of the actual dance. Sure, there are a lot of closeups, but one should remember the number of binoculars that showed up at Rudy's performances!

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