Produced in 1966, this film is an invaluable account of the artistic
alchemy which formed the Fonteyn-Nureyev legend.
Juliet: Margot Fonteyn
Romeo: Rudolf Nureyev
This film is the famed Royal Ballet production of Romeo and Juliet.
This historical performance stars Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev as
the quintessential stage lovers. It captures the greatest dance
partnership of our century at the peak of their careers.
It's not a stretch to call Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn the most
sublime of all dance partners and Sergei Prokofiev the most gifted
20th-century ballet composer. And so it goes without saying that the
1966 film version of the Royal Ballet production of Prokofiev's Romeo
and Juliet featuring Nureyev and Fonteyn as the star-crossed lovers is
an absolute must-have for anyone who cares a whit about the art.
Director Paul Czinner has made all the right moves, alternating between
full shots of the performers with long shots that accentuate how
Kenneth MacMillan's fastidious choreography is inexorably linked to the
characters, their story, the elaborate sets, and the viewer. Nicholas
Georgiadis's costumes are sumptuous without being overdone, the
supporting dancers and ensemble are as exquisite as the leads, and John
Lanchbery conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House with just the
right mixture of joviality and tragedy that Prokofiev's classic score
needs but doesn't always receive. --Kevin Filipski