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Nureyev: Lifting the Curtain

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This striking and moving documentary from BAFTA nominated directors, Jacqui and David Morris, traces the extraordinary life of Rudolf Nureyev, the most famous male dancer that transcended fame in the dance world to become a pop culture icon of his time. It charts his rise from humble beginnings, to his eventual defection to the West, an event that shocked the world. The film contextualises not just the man but also the times in which he lived, discussing the politically charged divide between Russia and the West and the critical role that Nureyev played as a cultural and global phenomena. Blending never-before-seen footage, an original score by award-winning composer Alex Baranowski, and a spellbinding series of exclusive modern dance tableaux directed by Royal Ballet alumnus Russell Maliphant, Nureyev is a theatrical and cinematic experience like no other biopic.


  • Dana Fouras
  • Illya Koltobskoy
  • Grace Jabbari
  • Jordan Kennedy
  • Lucia Lacarra
  • Maria Fonseca
  • Isla Malliphant
  • Leon Poulton
  • Tetiana Tretyak
  • Marlon Dino

Atom User Reviews

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Apr 24, 2019

Among the film's most visually dazzling sections are a series of extremely sensual black-and-white photographs of the dancer shot by Richard Avedon, who famously commented of his subject, His whole body was responding to a kind of wonder at himself. A narcissistic orgy of some orgy of one.

Metacritic review by Frank Scheck
Frank Scheck
The Hollywood Reporter
Apr 24, 2019

Nureyev delivers Nureyev’s life in all its ecstasy and tragedy. As a documentary, it’s not definitive, but it’s good enough to leave you thrilled and haunted by this man who, at the height of his artistry, seemed to leap off the earth and leave it behind.

Metacritic review by Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman