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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.

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Special Features Ballet synopsis History of Prokofiev's music Biographies of Rudolf Nureyev, Margot Fonteyn, and Sergei Prokofiev

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KU1183 Romeo And Juliet DVD (1991/Rudolf Nureyev) $29.95 $26.99