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An Evening with the Royal Ballet / Nureyev, Fonteyn

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

This historic program immortalizes a gala evening of classical ballet featuring the legendary team of Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn. An Evening With the Royal Ballet has been critically acclaimed as a chance to view the pinnacle of ballet achievement.

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In An Evening with the Royal Ballet (1963), Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn, the most famous ballet partnership of the 20th century, dance together in the first two numbers, a dreamily romantic treatment of Les Sylphides, with the choreography by Michel Fokine, and a dazzling pas de deux from Le Corsaire. Les Sylphides is treated as an ensemble number, with full involvement by the Covent Garden company as well as graceful solos by the two stars. Le Corsaire, as choreographed by Nureyev, gives him opportunities to display his remarkable technique but also allows Fonteyn to shine.

Neither appears in Frederick Ashton's choreography for La Valse, which gets to the heart of Ravel's music in a visually impressive treatment. In "Aurora's Wedding" from Sleeping Beauty choreographed by Marius Petipa, Fonteyn dances beautifully with David Blair, an excellent Florimund, though not on the Nureyev level. "Aurora's Wedding" has many brilliant solos and, like La Valse, is an impressive showcase for the company. --Joe McLellan


Special Features

  • Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn text biographies

Product Details

  • Actors: Margot Fonteyn, Rudolf Nureyev, David Blair, Antoinette Sibley, Graham Usher
  • Directors: Anthony Asquith, Anthony Havelock-Allan
  • Producers: Richard B. Goodwin
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: July 31, 2001
  • Run Time: 85 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NGA9
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,958 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "An Evening with the Royal Ballet / Nureyev, Fonteyn" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 54 people found the following review helpful By chaerae on February 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Les Sylphides, Le Corsaire, La Valse, and Sleeping Beauty (Act III)....
Les Sylphides is absolutely magical, the best performance of this ballet I've ever seen. Nureyev gives his usual intense, wonderful performance, and Fonteyn -- words cannot describe the beauty of her every exquisite movement. This ballet is, perfectly suited to her lyrical style. IMO, Fonteyn had the most incredibly expressive arms.... But before I start rambling (or have I already?)....
Le Corsaire is an absolutely brilliant performance from Nureyev, and Fonteyn dances beautifully as well (although her performance is perhaps a bit too subdued in comparison to Nureyev's mindblowing one).
La Valse was probably wonderful to see live, but the magic is kind of lost on film. I think it's one of those ballets you had to see in person.
Sleeping Beauty is a joy to see. Fonteyn is wonderful as usual, and David Blair makes a superb prince, very noble and suave. A young Antoinette Sibley gives an exquisite peerformance in the Blue Bird pas de deux.
A great buy!
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 2003
Format: DVD
Nureyev and Fonteyn! Need I say more? This DVD is sooo valuable for so many reasons! As an historical record, it cannot be surpassed. The performance of "Les Sylphides" is pure Fokine choreography, with a grace and fluidity that is not always present in performance companies these days. The "storyless" ballet is actually about the poet (Nureyev) being inspired by the sylphs who seem to caress his mind with both dreamy visions and moments of ecstasy. This ballet alone is worth the price of admission! For those who want to see the more bravura side of Nureyev, look to the pas de deux from Le Corsaire. Balletomanes will probably recognize that the male technique has advanced remarkably overall since 1963. But still, Nureyev is electric and amazing in this pas de deux. La Valse should be seen just because it is Ravel's music at its most lush and passionate. This may also be the only filmed record of the choreography of this rarely performed ballet. And of course... if you long to see Margot Fonteyn in her true element, the last act of "Sleeping Beauty" is pure delight. All of the divertissement are danced by dancers we now recognize as principal ballerinas... who were mere soloists at the time. Puss in Boots and the Bluebird pas de deux are marvelous reproductions of the original Petipa choreography, and a joy to watch. The costuming, sets, and mannerisms of this ballet definitely take the viewer to a different time and place. Magnificent! Fonteyn is an ageless diamond in this wonderful performance! There are a hundred reasons to buy this DVD, and few detractions. I saw this movie when it was released in theaters back in the 1960s, and the DVD transfer is not without its occasional moments of fuzz, but for the most part it is fantastic.Read more ›
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amy on July 14, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Margot is certainly a wonderful dancer and so is Nureyev. Les Sylphides is beautiful with the tutu's and choreography. I did not like La Valse really though. The Sleeping Beauty was lovely. Margot and David Blaire were excellent and I loved the Bluebird pas de deux. On the whole I really enjoyed it but I also recommend Essential Ballet for people wanting a beautiful dvd of excerpts. It is with the Kirov Ballet and has bits from The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, The Firebird, Giselle, Don Quixote, Paquita, and quite a few more.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jancal TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 16, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I was a ballet student and huge ballet fan growing up in the 60s-70s, and had indulgent parents who would stretch their budget to allow me the occasional journey from Long Island to Manhattan to see visiting and NY ballet companies. I was privileged to personally see a Fonteyn & Nureyev performance with the Royal Ballet, one of their last, of "Marguerite & Armand" at the Met in NY, and she was an aspiring young dancer's dream - beautiful, graceful, classic with perfect form, and what EMOTION; she was the only ballerina I ever saw who put her whole heart and soul into the character, and owned it. It is wonderful that some of this talent is preserved in films like "Evening with the Royal Ballet" and also Czinner's "Royal Ballet," both of which feature Fonteyn in select acts of famous ballets. I have also recently purchased the Fonteyn biography by Meredith Daneman which was interesting but mostly speculation; if you really want to learn about Fonteyn, her art always came first, and it is much better to snap up as many performance DVDs or tapes as you can find like this one, to have a true understanding of this amazing prima ballerina assoluta and why she was so beloved.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By wonderment on February 10, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
A must have for the ballet purist! Especially for those who remember Nureyev and Fonteyn's reign supreme!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Balletomane on June 21, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is a beautiful production of several ballets that do not disappoint! Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev give unforgettable performances. This DVD would be a nice addition to anyone's ballet collection. I particularly enjoyed Les Sylphides with Chopin's glorious music and the superb dancing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jaycy on January 6, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This should help a student or fan by observing the beauty of the dance, the grace of the artists, the music, as well as the atmosphere of the theatre.
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