I started following Rudolf Nureyev's career early in the 60's when I first saw him on a half-hour TV series (was it the Bell Telephone Hour? Does anybody remember?). I remember being stopped in my tracks as he projected his balletic magic even over my tiny TV. Then when I saw him dance "Romeo and Juliet" with the Royal Ballet, partnered with Margo Fonteyn, it was the high point of my ballet watching. I saw the movie four times, and in this video, the two most memorable scenes are repeated: the balcony scene, and the scene in the tomb in which Romeo dances with the seemingly-lifeless Juliet.
Margot Fonteyn (note that she gets top billing) is still my favorite ballerina, and Nureyev has always been, and will always be, my favorite male performer. They both project their personalities into their performances: he, with magnificient self-assuredness and astounding technique (especially in his younger days) combined with an amazing partnering ability which focuses your attention on the ballerina when it is her turn to display her talents. When they dance together on equal terms, as in the two scenes mentioned above, they project the perfect image of two lovers who almost dare not believe that love is happening to them. Could it be a reflection of their actual lives...?
Their personal lives are fascinating in themselves: Nureyev being born on a train in a desolate region of Russia and almost forcing himself as an outsider into official balletic circles; and Fonteyn, the "ideal" (in the sense that D. H. Lawrence uses the word, meaning "mental") accomplished dancer who. almost at the end of her career, is revitalized and sensualized by dancing with Nureyev, who is half her age.
Interviews with many notables are given in this video as they try to explain the magic of this ballet pair-of-the-century. But nothing can replace their actual gripping performances in "Marguerite and Armand" and "Le Corsaire" which are also presented in this video.
I would be very happy to hear from others who enjoy this video as much as I have.