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Documentary on Rudolf Nureyev includes previously unseen archival footage
Margot Fonteyn with Rudolf Nureyev. Courtesy of CineLife Entertainment.



NEW YORK, NY.- Film Forum will present the exclusive two-week New York theatrical premiere engagement of Nureyev, a feature-length documentary co-directed by BAFTA-nominated directors Jacqui Morris and David Morris, beginning Friday, June 7. Ralph Fiennes’s The White Crow, a recently released drama of Rudolf Nureyev’s life, leading to his 1961 defection to the West, hints at the artistry of this legendary star – widely considered the greatest classical dancer of his generation. The documentary goes further, serving up a truly profound experience of the man’s extraordinary technique, scintillating stage presence, and sexual magnetism (both on and off-stage). Richard Avedon’s dazzling photography of the dancer in his prime gives a sense of why he was often compared to a panther.

Nureyev includes previously unseen archival dance footage, some choreographed by modern dance greats Martha Graham, Paul Taylor and Murray Lewis. Newly created work directed by Royal Ballet alumnus Russell Maliphant, with an original score by Alex Baranowski, dramatizes scenes from the dancer’s life.

“Dance, unlike most other art forms, is ephemeral,” said co-director Jacqui Morris. “Our responsibility was to save Rudolf Nureyev for future generations, by tracking down the best of his work that survives on film, and then present it – and him – in the context of his time.”

The film follows Nureyev’s life chronologically, from birth on a Trans-Siberian train to his early struggles to study dance, to his years at the Kirov (now the Mariinsky) Ballet. After bursting onto the international stage in Paris, he made a life-changing decision to leap into the arms of the French airport police rather than return to the USSR. His partnership with the great British prima ballerina Margot Fonteyn followed; footage of them performing Romeo and Juliet and Giselle are among the highlights of the film. In the years that followed, he danced principally with The Royal Ballet and, beginning in 1983, became Director of the Paris Opera Ballet where he was also chief choreographer.

Nureyev will have a 2-week engagement, June 7 - 20, at Film Forum, 209 West Houston Street (West of 6th Avenue), with screenings daily at 12:30, 2:40, 4:50, 7:10, and 9:30.

“Feels not so much timely as eternal. To plunge into this saga… to see what it was that made Rudolf Nureyev onstage such a furious and transporting poet-of-the-body, is to be at once moved and awed.” – Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“More than just essential viewing for anyone interested in ballet… It casts a light through its prismatic subject, whose unique story refracts out colorful strands touching on art, politics, history, identity and so much more.” – Leslie Felperin, The Guardian (UK)

NUREYEV (2019, 109 mins.) Written and Directed by Jacqui Morris and David Morris. Produced by Jacqui Morris, Trevor Beattie. Director of Photography: Michael Wood. Editors: David Fairhead, Timothy Moss. Music: Alex Baranowski. Additional choreography: Russell Maliphant. Narration: Dame Sian Phillips. UK. In English. Released by CineLife Entertainment®.










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