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Nijinsky Reviews

Based on two years of Vaslav Nijinsky's life, NIJINSKY stars George De La Pena (a dancer with the American Ballet Theatre) as the title ballet pioneer. The film focuses on the triangular love story among Nijinsky, Sergei Diaghilev (Alan Bates), and Romola Nijinsky, nee De Pulsky (Leslie Brown), the dancer-choreographer's wife. Baron De Gunzburg (Alan Badel), who like Diaghilev is homosexual, is Nijinsky's benefactor until he falls under the spell of Diaghilev, who pushes Nijinsky so hard he begins to crack under the strain and masturbates onstage while performing "The Afternoon of a Faun." Ronald Pickup appears as Igor Stravinsky, who is shown deploring the ill reception of "Le Sacre du Printemps," and Jeremy Irons also has an early role. Coproducer Nora Kaye, an ex-dancer married to director Herbert Ross, returned to the ballet world to oversee this handsome film. The dancing is wonderful, and Ross, a former choreographer himself, knows how to film ballet (as he showed in THE TURNING POINT), but the picture bogs down when the pirouetting stops. Primarily for ballet fans.