Dancing With The Devil, a dynamic visual performance about an imaginary meeting between dying Russian superstar ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev and Dame Margot Fonteyn in the last years of Nureyev’s life, will get its world premiere in five performances at the Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler’s Wells, from Sunday 26 June – Wednesday 29 June.
Dancing With The Devil is set in the early nineties in Nureyev’s flat in Paris. He has AIDS and the illness is at an advanced stage. Refusing to accept his fate, and in his desperate hunger for life, he invokes the ghost of Margot Fonteyn (who died several years earlier) to find redemption. With Margot he re-lives his youth, his hardships, his destructive love affair with Erik Bruhn and his global success as a dancer. But he and Margot see the past with very different eyes and gradually he is forced to confront himself – the biggest battle of his life. The journey that these two blazing talents embark upon is not only a love story, but is intricately woven from the very roots and fibres that made Rudolf Nureyev both a cantankerous child and consummate artist. Nureyev recalls the first moment from his childhood in Russia when his passion for ballet began, his struggle with his father, his early years at the Vaganova Ballet, his first loves, his encounters with his teachers, Chelkov and Pushkin, his first major performance as a soloist, his defection from the Soviet Union, his visit to Russia after 26 years to see his family, his meeting with his sister Rezida, his encounters with Clara Saint, the French Socialite, Erik Bruhn, Margot Fonteyn, Maria Tallchief, Raymundo De Larrain and Cecil Beaton.
Featuring the dynamic visual style and choreography of acclaimed Theatre Lab Company, Nureyev’s life is portrayed through a thrillingly choreographed performance.
Photo: Josh Brandao and Nicolai Kornum