A film of Petipa's 19th century Russian ballet, publicised as being produced with 'full film techniques' rather than as a straightforward record of a stage performance. It nevertheless falls into the trap of theatre conventions (heavy make-up, even heavier hamming, unvarying lighting for each separate scene, crude blackouts to indicate changes of locale, identical dress for the populace) without taking advantage of the fluidity and mystery possible in film. The one sequence that works is a moonlit pas de deux for Nureyev as the jolly Barber of Barcelona (a more suitable title, as the ballet bears no resemblance to Cervantes' masterpiece) and coquettish Lucette Aldous of the steely feet and spiky eyelashes. Otherwise it's unremitting dancing, enthusiastically performed by members of the Australian Ballet. For Rudi-watchers and balletomanes only.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Rudolf Nureyev, Robert Helpmann|