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 (a working title)


by Radik Kudoyarov


This is a 120-minute drama for adults about Rudolf Nureyev who was born into a poor family in the Soviet Union and became an international ballet icon and the richest dancer in the world.


There are 48 557 words in the script. It is based not only on well-known official facts, but rather mostly on the details of all the stories collected over a period of 12 years.

The materials collected in my archives suffice to carry out the project in three different formats: TV series (4 parts), a version for festivals (running time – 150 min) and a version for distribution (120 min) if it works for the market. The script consists of 8 sequences. Each of them has its own beginning, culmination and finale. However, all the sequences are closely related to each other.


Despite the fact that Rudolf was an artist of world renown, I think that the times have changed and that, perhaps, not everyone knows who Rudolf Nureyev was. I structured the story so as to build anticipation in an audience unfamiliar with the protagonist’s name at the beginning of the film, hoping that, by the end of the movie, it would want to remember him. And one more important thing – Rudolf and his life serve as a very good role model for young people. Not only can they enjoy an interesting movie, but also be inspired and encouraged knowing about his amazing flight in life.


My research covers many years and has allowed me to document in depth Nureyev’s personality and Nureyev the dancer thereby enabling me to make the first ever feature film (a biopic). Many people were surprised to learn that, thus far, not a single feature film had been devoted to his fantastic personality. From my point of view, the key thing is to understand Nureyev’s true nature, which was kept under wraps. Rudolf’s mentality was mixed: he was born in Soviet Russia into a Tatar family and lived his life in the West – two completely different worlds!


Understanding Rudolf came naturally to me: I was born and spent my childhood just a few blocks from the place where Rudolf lived. Having lived in the same culture and traditions, I had a unique opportunity to study the complex and mysterious personality of the dancer, Rudolf Nureyev, who left the Soviet Union and became a living legend, achieved worldwide fame, elicited passion and provoked scandals in his wake in the world of dance and with all the people who had the privilege to know him very well in the West.


I have met, interviewed and still keep in touch with numerous persons of Nureyev’s entourage from his childhood and adolescence. I have also met many personalities from the dance world in Leningrad where Nureyev studied at the Vaganova School of Ballet and then danced with the Kirov Ballet. In order to capture the most complete possible portrait of Nureyev, I have often travelled to the West to meet and interview people from Nureyev’s immediate personal and artistic circles. Furthermore, I have met with the KGB officers who handled the Nureyev case. Those people had never ever given any interviews or made any comments on the subject. I am using their stories on the basis of EXCLUSIVITY.


I am a filmmaker and I have made two documentary films about Rudolf Nureyev. The first one was « The Myth of Rudolf » in 2003. The second documentary film, « Stolen Immortality », was made and shown in Russia (2007) and in France (2011).


All told, I have written and directed about 30 documentaries. Some of them were produced in the docufiction genre. So, I know how it works. I can really imagine and visualize this future film about Rudolf. Undoubtedly, I stand ready to discuss the film and its finer points. I have ideas concerning the A-list actors, as well as their dubbing (dancing) actors which is very important for the protagonists. I have already held some preliminary talks with the heads of the Opera Houses in Europe about future cooperation to use certain interiors, sets and corps de ballet during the shooting. I consider these aspects of the project crucial. 


While working on the script, I, of course, kept the market for the future film in mind. As  mentioned above, Rudolf was an artist of world renown and his lifestory deserves a full-scale offensive. That is why this story is not just about dance. It is a real drama with action, politics, comedy, a lovestory and tragedy in the end. There are plenty of famous and historical figures in the script. I am sure that that this film will find distibutors for the American, the European and the Russian markets.


I would like to attract the attention of distributors and potential co-producers from the Far and the Middle East at the same time. Moreover, I have put in a few special characters – The Queen of Jordan and ‘Japanese fan-lady in pink’. She is lovely!


I have a couple of good ideas concerning product placement in the film too.


Among the consultants for the film are leading international experts and choreographers who knew Rudolf personally. They have given their written support to this project. The script has been finalized in Russian and translated into English and French. The film will be produced in English.


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