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Amelia

“The White Crow" - a film about Nureyev

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If like me, your reaction on reading that Nureyev will be played by "Russian dancer Oleg Ivenko" was... "WHO??"  you may be interested in the following info.

As the -enko in his name suggests, he is in fact Ukrainian (like Artem Ovcharenko, who played Nureyev in the recent BBC docudrama), but he is a principal dancer with the ballet company in Kazan (Tatarstan). Here's the Google translated version of his page on the company website.

http://kazan-opera.ru/team/25/695/

 

Honored Artist of Tatarstan
Laureate of international competitions

He graduated from the Kharkov choreographic school in 2006, the Belarusian State Choreographic College in 2010

Admitted to the ballet troupe in September 2010,

Winner of the International Competition "Crystal Shoe" (Kharkov, 2005, 2006, 2009),
Diploma and a special prize of the International Ballet Competition "Arabesque" (Perm, 2010),
Winner of the International Competition in Varna (2010)
Member of the V International festival of choreographic schools and schools in Kazan (2010)
Winner (paired with Kristina Andreeva) II of the International Prize "TANZOLIMP" Contest-Festival (Berlin, February 2011)
Winner of the Prize II, winner of the special prize of the jury and the press prize STD Russia XII International Ballet Competition "Arabesque" (paired with Kristina Andreeva) (Perm, 2012),
The winner of the II International Yuri Grigorovich Competition Prize "Young Ballet of the World" (Sochi 2012).
In 2012, he took part (in pair with Christina Andreeva) to show the TV channel "Culture", "Bolshoi Ballet".
Winner of the Grand Prix International Competition Yuri Grigorovich "Young Ballet of the World" (Sochi 2014)
Winner of the I prize of the Krasnoyarsk International Ballet Competition "Grand Prix of Siberia" (Krasnoyarsk, 2014)
Winner of the I prize of the Korean IX International Ballet Competition (Seoul, 2016).
 


Repertoire includes:

Basil ( "Don Quixote"),
Solor ( "La Bayadere"),
Coghlan, Allen ( "Vain Precaution"),
Shurale ( "Shurale"),
Jester, Neapolitan dance Arapchonok ( "Swan Lake"),
Prince, Harlequin, Chinese Dance ( "Nutcracker"),
Merry Gnome ( "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"),
Blue Bird ( "The Sleeping Beauty"),
Mercutio, Benvolio ( "Romeo and Juliet"),
Ali ( "Corsair"),
Franz Friends ( "Coppelia"),
Nuradinov ( "Golden Horde")
Student ( "Annie"),
Pierre Gringoire, Acteon ( "Esmeralda") and others.

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The trailer looks splendid and it looks as though it deals with Rudolf's defection and time in Paris.

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I was lucky enough to see this when it was shown at the London Film Festival last year. I really enjoyed it and the scenes at Le Bourget in particular are really gripping  even though we know the outcome! Ralph Fiennes has drawn an amazing performance from Oleg Ivenko who has never acted before. He is pretty good at dancing too! Fiennes himself is also excellent - as are the rest of the cast.  I strongly recommend it. 

Edited by BeauxArts
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Oh I am looking forward to this. Mr Fiennes took ballet lessons to prepare for this film, as he wanted to understand something of what it might be like. He contacted the Royal Ballet who said "Our Bennet Gartside teaches beginner classes" so he ended up taking private lessons in the ROH from the said Mr Gartside.

 

I saw a young Chinese couple at second interval of the Watson Mayerling on 11 May 2017 trying to sell Mr Fiennes their tickets for the third act as they had dinner reservations. He was just having a quiet cig outside and caught my eye, rolling his own (eyes not cigarette!) while rebuffing their attempts. When they finally moved away he grinned and said there was no understanding some people. We had a brief chat about acting in ballet, then I actually had the presence of mind to remember myself and say I would now leave him in peace, for which he thanked me, saying that he wished more people would be so kind! My Brush With Fame. Right up there with literally looking up from the desk at stage door on 28 April 2017 to see Aurélie Dupont, at which I instantly bowed deeply, saying "Madame Dupont!", making her laugh. The dates are engraved on my brain.

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Lucky you. I have a theory that Mr Fiennes is incapable of being in a bad film, so hopes are high.....

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I watched The White Crow at the Tokyo International Film Festival, with a Q&A session with Ralph Fiennes.  It was a stunning film, going back and forth through 3 tenses, Nureyev's childhood, when he was a student at Vaganova, and the fateful Paris tour, with the look of the cinematography different. Oleg Ivenko was very good in acting, he displayed the mood of Nureyev very well and his inner turmoils and his ambitions, his high cheekbones resembled Nureyev . Especially the defection scene was very well directed, very tense and dramatic. (Pierre Lacotte contributed very much for the realization of this scene) The locations were in the Vaganova academy and Garnier, Mariinsky Theatre. 

It was great that the dialogue was done with the original languages, (mainly Russian and French) and Fiennes as Pushkin spoke very good Russian. (he said in the Q&A that he had to be in the movie to gain funding for this film) It was also great that the roles were played with actual dancers, the beautiful Anna Polikarpova (former principal of Hamburg Ballet and before that a Mariinsky Dancer) played the role of Natalia Dudinskaya with the glamor of a movie star. Sergei Polunin appears as Yuri Soloviev and actually shows his technique in some of the dance sequences but not a big role. Ivenko has the mood of a Soviet dancer and his dancing is also fabulous. (He competed in the program Big Ballet representing Kazan Opera) 

I think this was a very well made movie and will recommend to ballet fans. 

 

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Apologies if this has been posted elsewhere but I've just seen that the film with the Ranulph Fiennes Q and A session is being shown at about 25 Odeon cinemas on Tuesday 12 March (or at least it is at my local Odeon, Preston on this date). I thought the docu/drama made by (I think) the BBC a couple of Christmas' ago dealing with Nureyev' defection was excellent as was Artem Ovcharenko as Nureyev. it will be interesting to see how this compares.

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