When Nureyev took up the position of Artistic Director of the ballet of the Paris opera in 1983, his words to the dancers of the ensemble so rich in tradition were, "Don?t talk, work", and only two months later he presente... more »d his magnificent new production of Marius Petipa?s oriental ballet Raymonda. This documentary by François Roussillon examines the various aspects of this ballet, which has become a classic in the repertoire of the ballet ensemble of the Paris opera through Rudolf Nureyev?s choreography. It was made in 1998 in honor of the great ballerina Yvette Chauviré and gives the dancers and other performers who during the fifteen years since the premiere of Nureyev?s choreography in 1983 have established the success of the ballet, a chance to speak. Their reminiscences are illustrated by numerous excerpts from various performances and rehearsals. Nureyev was a workaholic, but he succeeded as did no other to pass on his enthusiasm and passion for the classical dance to young dancers. Everyone who worked with him confirms this, beginning with Elisabeth Platel, the Raymonda of 1983, and Charles Jude to Claude de Vulpian and Manuel Legris, the stars of the New York performance of Raymonda in 1986. Nureyev?s innate talent for dancing and the perfection of his rehearsal work has made Raymonda one of the greatest masterworks of ballet history.« less
"I enjoyed learning more about Nureyev as a director and choreographer because much has been written about his life and talent as one of the greatest dancers in history. If you are interested in understanding more about Nureyev, this documentary is for you.
My only disappointment is that after watching bits and peices of the ballet I wanted to see the production of Nureyev's Raymonda in its entirety, but it is nowhere to be found! To be honest, I would much rather see the magic of the dancing than listen to others talk about how amazing it is. Because this documentary leaves you yearning to see the full length ballet that apparently does not exist is the reason it receives four stars."
The best in the "Dancer's Dream" series
Ivy Lin | NY NY | 08/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Of the "Dancer's Dream" documentary films, I think this one is the most informative and interesting. The "Dancer's Dream" documentaries are about Rudolf Nureyev's productions of ballets during his reign at the Paris Opera Ballet. There's documentaries of four of his productions: La Bayadere, Raymonda, Romeo and Juliet, and Sleeping Beauty. The reason I find this particular documentary so interesting is that it interviewed a large number of dancers who danced in Nureyev's Raymonda. They have mixed and sometimes conflicting views of working with Nureyev, but they all cite his absolute perfectionism and devotion to dance. There are tantalizing clips of etoiles like Elisabeth Platel and Manuel Legris dancing Raymonda, which make me long for a complete video. (Complete videos exist of Nureyev's Sleeping Beauty, R&J, and La Bayadere.) But just as interesting is all the interviews with the dancers, who are all articulate and thoughtful. Particularly insightful is Florence Clerq. Best of all, we get to see rehearsal footage with Nureyev and his dancers, which I found just as beautiful as actual performance footage. Highly recommended."
Great ballet documentary
tulip | Fort Worth, Texas United States | 02/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great documentary. After I watched the "Etoile" a sort of documentary about Paris Opera Ballet dancers, I was more interested in dancers in addition to the ballet performance. Having said that, Paris Opera Ballet really needs to release the Raymonda ballet performance DVD to show the great work by those dancers. There are some clips here and there but not enough. It is said "Raymonda" is one of the most difficult ballet to dance, and it looks like Nureyev made it more difficult but I would like to watch his entire version by the Paris Opera Ballet. They are the only who is keeping Nureyev versions of ballets as repertory."
Happy to have a glimpse of Florence Clerc
Anna Donizetti. | Tokyo, Japan | 07/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"At 4 or 5 years old, I used to dream to be a ballerina. But I came to throw it away after watching Rudolf Nureyev dancing on the TV. The ballet art didn't look much. And almost 30 years after I have become a passionate ballet fan thanks to Florence Clerc. I didn't know they were able to express a shyness of young lady in a dance. This DVD is doumentary. This is why I gave 4 stars. You can't see the marvel of each dancer. I wish that Amazon Com would look for a complete piece of each of these dancers. And moreover to prepare DVDs with region code all/free. You can't imagine how much I pay for a DVD with region 1, first the price of DVD then for its dubbing. But even so, I want to see !!"
Perhaps the best of a fine series
Robert B. Campbell | North Carolina USA | 06/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It is difficult to understand why this DVD has been discontinued. I have mine, and I will hold on to it forever. It is also difficult to understand why Amazon has given it only a so-so rating, based heavily on a low rating from a reviewer who was expecting a performance DVD. This is the most interesting and informative of the four superb Dancer's Dream DVDs, going back as it does to the 1983 premier and then bringing us forward to a 1998 revival. This one was dear to Nureyev's heart, and it has more fascinating action coverage of him in rehearsals than any of the other three in the series. The DVD provides coverage of six fine ballerinas in the Raymonda role: Platel, Gaida, Clerc, De Vulpian, Pontois and Pietragalla. We also see four dancers in the Jean de Brienne role: Legris, Jude, Martinez and Nureyev, and as Abderam we have Guzerix, Romoli and Hilaire. For some reason the POB did not issue a performance DVD of Nureyev's Raymonda, although a DVD can perhaps be found of a stage rehearsal. Performance DVDs have been issued for the other three ballets in the Dream series: La Bayadere, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo & Juliet."