Search - Rudolf Nureyev & Erik Bruhn - Their Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances (1961-1967) on DVD

Rudolf Nureyev & Erik Bruhn - Their Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances (1961-1967)
Rudolf Nureyev Erik Bruhn - Their Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances
Actors: Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn
Genres: Television, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
NR     2002     1hr 23min


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Movie Details

Actors: Rudolf Nureyev, Erik Bruhn
Genres: Television, Musicals & Performing Arts, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Classical, Ballet & Dance, Documentary
Studio: Video Artists Int'l
Format: DVD - Black and White,Color
DVD Release Date: 10/22/2002
Theatrical Release Date: 07/30/2002
Release Year: 2002
Run Time: 1hr 23min
Screens: Black and White,Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)

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Movie Reviews

A wonderful contrast of two great dancers
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 12/29/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Erik Bruhn and Rudolf Nureyev were lovers, and after that, lifelong friends. However, as dancers, they were like a right and left hand. Which is to say they were opposites in every way. Bruhn was tall, blond, reserved, and trained in the Danish school that emphasized disciplined steps and neat footwork. He was the ultimate danseur noble. Nureyev was shorter, dark-haired, passionate, and trained in the Russian school that emphasized huge, elevated jumps and a bravura style of dancing.

The Erik Bruhn Bell Telephone performances are:
1. Don Quixote grand pas with Maria Tallchief
2. Swan Lake black swan pdd with Sonia Arova
3. Coppelia pdd with Sonia Arova
4. Romeo and Juliet balcony scene (Bruhn's own choreography) with Carla Fracci
5. La Sylphide grand pas with Carla Fracci

Among these performances, the crown jewel is the Sylphide performance with Carla Fracci. The Bournonville choreography is what the Royal Danish Ballet is most famous for, and Bruhn seems completely at ease in this piece. His partnership with Carla Fracci was legendary and you can see why here -- her dark-haired, bubbly presence was a perfect antidote to Bruhn's Scandinavian reserve. The other pieces I'd say are more curiosities than anything else. Neither Bruhn nor Tallchief seem particularly at ease in the Don Quixote pdd, and Sonia Arova's technique seems very dated today. The balcony scene with Carla Fracci would be nice, except for the fact that I find Bruhn's choreography stiff and lifeless. But if you want to get a sense of Bruhn's style of dancing, this is the perfect video.

The Nureyev selections are:
1. Flower Festival in Genzano with Maria Tallchief
2. Le Corsaire pdd with Lupe Serrano
3. La Esmeralda 'Diana and Acteon' pdd with Svetlana Beriosova
4. Swan Lake black swan pdd with Svetlana Beriosova

Of the Nureyev selections, the last two are the best. If Bruhn seems out of place in Petipa's Don Quixote choreography, Tallchief and Nureyev seem equally out of place in Bournonville's Flower Festival in Genzano. Still, it's nice to see some Bournonville choreography on video at all, since the Royal Danish Ballet's videography is just about nonexistent. Le Corsaire pdd is ok, but I prefer the video of him with Margot Fonteyn, as well as the Vaganova graduation video with Alla Sizova. But the two selections with Svetlana Beriosova are wonderful to watch. Beriosova is a ballerina of great beauty and talent, and this is AFAIK the only video of her dancing. She has a graceful jump, wonderful elevation, and a gorgeous line. She and Nureyev are wonderfully matched, so much so that it's a shame they did not dance together more often. Diana and Acteon isn't a masterpiece, but performed by two great dancers like Nureyev and Beriosova, it's very entertaining. Nureyev in his variation executes some turns in the air, followed by fast pique turns that are very impressive, especially for a male dancer. The only caveat is Nureyev's truly hideous costumes in Diana and Acteon. You wonder who designed such a horror. The Black Swan pdd is more standard fare, but it's wonderful to watch two beautiful dancers dancing together. Beriosova is more of a glamorous Odile than a sinister one. (For sinister, watch Maya Plisetskaya. She practically looks like she would eat your children.) Beriosova, by the way, executes a series of perfect 32 fouettes that barely travel at all, and she ends the series with a triple pirouette. Great stuff. The video quality for the Black Swan pdd is unfortunately very poor, being very grainy and in black and white."
From the San Francisco Chronicle
Jane Reed | 06/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Essential. The earliest performances available, as amazing as they are heartbreaking, with an unsurpassed "Corsaire" pas de deux with Lupe Serrano."
Rudolf Nureyev and Erik Bruhn: Bell Telephone Hour Performan
Jane Reed | New York, New York | 04/28/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wonderful as a period piece but most of all provides a rare opportunity to enjoy the artistry of the underappreciated and fabulous Erik Bruhn. Despite the small performance space and lack of camera angles, Erik Bruhn's talent shines through....incomparable upper body movement and exquisite partnering (especially with Carla Fracci). No wonder Nureyev considered him the only person he would want to emulate. The wonderfully corny introductions also take you back in time. Despite the technical limitations of the period, this is a winner."
Fantastic dancing!
Lorraine P. Zigman | Vermont, USA | 07/08/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Wonderful performances by Dane Erik Bruhn and Russian Tatar Rudolf Nureyev from various ballets with equally talented ballerinas. Altogether a treat for the eyes and senses. This DVD is their complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances from 1961 - 1967 (as described here). It will be enjoyed for many years to come."