With a seemingly ideal subject to hand, one might have expected a film that would convey something of the excitement of disciplined movement, give some insight into the grinding commitment of a professional dancer's life. Instead, Jourdain has produced a badly lit, boringly photographed, Vogue-style portrait of a man with good cheek bones and a leap that regularly carries him out of the frame. Developing into a record of performances, it is useful to the archivist, but captures little of the Nureyev magic. Much the most impressive sequence is a rehearsal of Glen Tetley's 'Field Figures', watched by the choreographer and performed by Nureyev and Deanne Bergsma. Here the proximity of the camera is of real benefit, allowing exploration of this contemporary work in a way never possible over the gulf of an orchestra pit. But once again Jourdain neglects a valuable opportunity: instead of Tetley discussing his piece, which has baffled and intrigued many, we are simply offered Bryan Forbes' voice reading a narration written by John Percival.
Cast and crew