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Rare film footage of Nijinsky dancing -- or is it?


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From the June 29 New Yorker. Joan Acocella: Fool's Gold Dept.: The Faun"

Many of the makers of early-twentieth-century dance distrusted film; they thought that it made their art look toylike, foolish. As a result, there is no footage, for example, of Vaslav Nijinsky, who may have been the greatest dancer of the century. The fact that his career was so short—he went mad at twenty-nine—makes this void more painful. Couldn’t we have had even a glimpse?

Strange to say, we were recently offered one. Last July, a YouTube user posted what he called a film fragment of Nijinsky in his 1912 ballet “The Afternoon of a Faun.” Since then, the same source has added three more clips of the Russian dancer in “Faun,” plus one each of him in “The Spectre of the Rose,” “Scheherazade,” “The Blue God,” and “Les Orientales.” The eight segments add up to about three minutes.

As might be expected, there's more to this story than meets the eye. What do you think?


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I remember when these morphing sessions showed up on youtube, and he was indeed saying at the time that they were lost film of nijinsky. i seem to also recall that at one time he was hinting that he was related to nijinsky himself. at any rate, they are what they are, and not film, and he has gotten publicity for himself, which is what I presume he was looking for.

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I would swear that there was a post on BT long ago when this "footage" first popped out on Youtube. If anything, I suspect a carefully work of creating this glimpses by putting together a sequencial set of Nijinsky's pics.

I was tantalised on first viewing, but on second viewing it became clear that a talented person had animated photos of himself or another.

I really liked the fun of it.

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