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Rudolf Nureyev – Rebellious Genius Of Ballet….

July 30, 2013

Rudy in blackRudolf Nureyev – Rebellious Genius is the title of a new film about the great Russian dancer and choreographer. The premiere was held in St. Petersburg. The two-part documentary was made to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Rudolf Nureyev’s birth which will be marked on the 17th of March. In the near future the film will be shown in Moscow, Kazan, Ufa, the European capitals and at the Cannes International Film Festival.

These cities were not chosen at random. In St. Petersburg Rudolf Nureyev was trained as a ballet dancer and became a soloist of the Mariinsky Theatre. In Moscow, as a young beginner, Nureyev brilliantly performed his part at a ballet contest and made the whole country talk about him. In Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, ethnic Tatar Nureyev is respected as the most famous representative of his nation in the world. Ufa, the capital of Bashkortostan, is the city where Nureyev spent his childhood years. He left Ufa to conquer the world, via St. Petersburg to Europe where he settled down in the early 1960s. First Nureyev cast his lot with the London Royal Ballet and then with the Paris Grand Opera. This ‘ballet leap’ from little- known Ufa of the 1950s to the capital of France, the birthplace of ballet, is thoroughly described in the film about Nureyev. Talking about the filming, producer Alfia Chebotareva says:

“We walked along all the streets of Old Ufa where Rudolf Nureyev used to walk. They have survived but probably soon will be demolished because they date back to the 1940s. Then we walked along the Grand Opera corridors and were astonished by the height to which he soared, by what he achieved due to his talent and perseverance that overcame all obstacles.”

Rudolf Nureyev

Rudolf Nureyev

Famous Russian dancer and choreographer Andris Liepa took part in the film as the narrator. In the 1980s, soloist Liepa worked with choreographer Nureyev. Today he remembers about this:

“I did not only see but also danced his choreography which was one of the most difficult that I ever performed in my life. It was in his version of Swan Lake in the Paris Opera. It was extremely interesting, it was unique. When his versions of ballets were staged he was the scenic artist, the wardrobe director and the choreographer. He was totally dedicated to ballet and everything mattered to him in it.”

Introducing the film Rebellious Genius, Andris Liepa emphasized:

“I tried to persuade the film-makers to pay more attention to his biography and professional career. It was significant to me. I said that I wanted to take part in a film that would show him as a unique dancer and choreographer, as well as a talented actor and a very complicated but warm-hearted outgoing person.”

Director of the film Tatiana Malova interviewed dozens of ballet stars and Rudolf Nureyev’s friends and relations. Only a small part of the 50 hours of those interviews were used in the two parts of the documentary. Now the filming crew is planning to use this material in TV series. French and British producers have already joined this project. There are also plans to make a feature film about Rudolf Nureyev but who will star as the great ballet dancer remains to be seen.

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