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Catalogue No: 107017
A DOCUMENTARY DEDICATED TO THE GREAT BALLET PRODUCTIONS BY RUDOLF NUREYEV
PERFORMED AT THE OPÉRA NATIONAL DE PARIS
Juliette ELISABETH MAURIN
Roméo MANUEL LEGRIS
Directed by FRANÇOIS ROUSSILLON
Choreography and Stage Direction by RUDOLF NUREYEV
Set & Costume Design by EZIO FRIGERIO
Music by Serge Prokofieff
Les Etoiles, les Premiers Danseurs et le Corps de Ballet de l’Opéra National de Paris
Orchestre de l’Opéra national de Paris conducted by VELLO PÄHN
Romeo and Juliet, composed by Serge Prokofieff in 1935, is one of the few long great ballets that are also known to a broader public. In contrast to Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty, and the Nutcracker, however, there are not many original choreographies for Romeo and Juliet which are acknowledged as masterworks of ballet history and are passed on with only a few tactful alterations.
Nureyev’s choreography for Romeo and Juliet was created for the London Festival Ballet in 1977, and in 1984, shortly after he had taken over as director of the ballet of the Paris Opera, he produced the large-scale and gloriously colourful fresco for the company of the Paris Opera. His version, which takes into account all parts of the score, follows Shakespeare’s original very closely, and it is said that he read and studied the text again and again. The numerous crowd scenes, folk dances and fencing scenes, which are danced with extraordinary vitality, are proof of Nureyev’s outstanding talent as a dancer and choreographer.
In 1995, two years after Nureyev’s death, the production with its exciting and innovative choreography and the almost too over-ornate décor was resurrected once more for the ballet of the Paris Opera and adapted to the prevailing taste. With its magnificent renaissance décor by Ezio Frigerio and the luxurious costumes, the ballet is one of the most magnifi cent productions of the Paris Opera.
The title roles, which were danced by Monique Londoérs and Patrick Dupond in 1984, were given to the dancers Elisabeth Maurin and Manuel Legris , who had begun their careers in the corps de ballet under Nureyev. With the help of Nureyev’s long-time assistant Patricia Ruanne they tried to recapture the energy, passion and staying power for this new production, which is the prerequisite for the breathtaking aura of Nureyev’s choreography.
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