Article updated on 9 November 2020 following the removal of some of those videos on YouTubes.

What I love about watching interviews

Watching interviews and dance-related documentaries is one of the most insightful and useful free-time activities I can think of. Interviews and documentaries can open one’s eyes and mind to new knowledge, enriching one’s cultural baggage. They are not only wonderful means to discover people, their life and point of views; they often provide us with a good dose of inspiration and food for thoughts.

Professional dancers, ballet teachers, ballet masters and anyone who is, or has been, part of the dance world can offer precious advice, answer questions you would like to ask and simply share their story, which may have similarities to yours sometimes.

Celebrating Rudolf Nureyev’s birthday anniversary

Rudolf Nureyev in 1973 by Allan Warren

Rudolf Nureyev in 1973 by Allan Warren

With that said, I thought that in order to celebrate Rudolf Nureyev’s birthday on March 17th, sharing a list of his best interviews and documentaries available on YouTube would be a wonderful way to remember him, get to know him better and simply enjoy some great dance related content.

Rudolf Nureyev hardly needs any introduction. I will let the videos speak on their own, revealing some aspects of his personality and his identity that made him the great artist who influenced all the dancers of his time and the generations ahead. When researching more material and more stories about him, I constantly felt the need to discover what made him Nureyev.

What made him Nureyev then?

I would say a combination of qualities: among them determination, passion, curiosity, boldness, faith, and hard work. I do not consider “talent” one of them as I strongly believe that “talent” is just a myth.

A selection of the most interesting interviews of, and documentaries about, Rudolf Nureyev

I have to admit that selecting my favorites among all the videos on YouTube was hard. This selection aims to be complete and varied and is not sorted in any specific order: pick randomly. Enjoy!

Beautiful interview, divided into sections, in which Nureyev speaks about different points: from his work in London to his approach to work and performances. Clips of rehearsals and popular performances are included.

Language: English

Very nice presentation and interview of Rudolf, where his sense of humor comes out and is suddenly turned into a serious discussion on a touchy topic.

Language: English

In addition to a classic interview, this video shows snippets of Rudolf working in class. My favorite part is definitely the answer to “What kind of director are you?”.

Language: French voice over (original in English)

Extensive compilation of videos of Nureyev at work, during rehearsals and many interviews combined for a reportage for the French TV. This playlist is filled with the best clips of Nureyev ever, in my opinion. A must watch even for non-French speakers.

Language: mostly French, some parts are in English with French subtitles

Rare footage of a very young Rudolf in this video. It is wonderful to see how his stage presence was already there at the early stages of his career.

Language: English with Russian subtitles

Very extensive and well documented reportage, one of the best available on YouTube where many influential people of the dance world share their opinion and stories on Nureyev.

Language: Italian with inserts of English interviews subtitled in Italian

I hope you will love watching these gems about Nueyev and find some inspiration from them. Even though he is not physically here anymore, the dance world still feels his presence. Luckily, we have the opportunity to enjoy his masterpieces, which are danced by various companies around the world. We will talk about his choreographies in another post.

Just as Rudolf said: “As long as my ballets are danced, I will live”.