Nureyev film The White Crow begins shooting

Vera Liber

The first film to be allowed access to Russia’s State Hermitage Museum since Alexander Sokurov’s Russian Ark (2002), The White Crow, based on a chapter in the life of ballet star Rudolf Nureyev, has been shooting for two weeks in France and Russia at authentic locations from the life of the dancer. 

Ralph Fiennes directs a film that looks into the Russian dancer's defection to the West in 1961 in Paris. Scripted by David Hare from the book Rudolf Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh, The White Crow features dancer Oleg Ivenko as Nureyev, with Fiennes as Nureyev’s teacher and mentor, Pushkin, who helped launch Nureyev’s career in St Petersburg.  

The cast includes Adèle Exarchopoulos (Blue is the Warmest Colour), Louis Hofmann (Land of Mine, Alone in Berlin), Raphaël Personnaz (The Princess of Montpensier, Anna Karenina), Calypso Valois (Personal Shopper, Summertime), Sergei Polunin (Dancer, Murder on the Orient Express) and Russian actress Chulpan Khamatova (Goodbye Lenin!).

Production design is by Anne Seibel (Midnight in Paris), with choreography by former Royal Ballet Principal Johan Kobborg, costume design by Madeline Fontaine (Jackie, Amélie), director of photography is Mike Eley (Marley, Touching the Void) and composer is Ilan Eshkeri (Dancer, Still Alice). Filming will continue in Croatia and Serbia until late October.