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Rudolf Nureyev. Courtesy Spotlight Cinema Networks.

What's better than one film about Rudolf Nureyev? Two films about Rudolf Nureyev!

We're excited to share that a feature-length documentary titled Nureyev is slated to make its North American premiere this month. Nureyev will be shown in major U.S. cities starting April 19, giving you just enough time time to brush up on your Nureyev history before the Ralph Fiennes directed biopic, The White Crow, hits U.S. theaters on April 26.

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Rojo and Polunin in Marguerite and Armand. Bill Cooper via The Telegraph.

Whether it's an oh-so fashionably late arrival to a ball or an endless line of impressively in-sync penchés, ballets know the power of a dramatic entrance. (Appropriate, perhaps, that the word “entrance" has a double meaning, depending on how you pronounce it: “an entry" and also “to enthrall.") Take a look at some of our favorite wing-to-stage moments.

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In Sleeping Beauty's Act III wedding pas de deux, the spotlight beams unwaveringly on dancers' technique; Petipa's choreography offers little to no reprieve in softening embraces, no rest in loving caresses. In this clip, Dame Antoinette Sibley—a principal at The Royal Ballet from 1956-1989—and Danish-born international star Peter Schaufuss rise to the occasion. Regal and poised, they perform each step with crystalline purity. Just look at the careful way Sibley places one pointed toe on the floor, as if stepping on glass, to rise from her knee. Schaufuss deftly partners her in the formidable pirouette-fish dive section. At the end, he tosses Sibley in the air and catches her effortlessly with one arm, as if he hadn't just danced some of the most taxing five minutes in classical ballet repertoire.

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Sir Anthony Dowell, principal dancer at The Royal Ballet from 1966 to 1984 and director of the company from 1986 to 2001, celebrates his 70th birthday this Saturday, February 16th.

A strong and masterful technical dancer, Dowell created the role of Oberon in Frederick Ashton’s masterpiece The Dream. Anotinette Sibley was his Titania, and the Dowell-Sibley team quickly became a legendary ballet partnership. Dowell also created dramatic dance poetry with Lynn Seymour in Ashton’s A Month in the Country and Natalia Makarova in Swan Lake, and as Solor in La Bayadère. American audiences got to know Dowell in the 1970s, when he danced with American Ballet Theatre and the Joffrey Ballet.

After retiring from the stage in the 1980s, he took the helm of The Royal, where he fostered the careers of Sylvie Guillen, Jonathan Cope, Carlos Acosta, Darcey Bussell and Alina Cojocaru, to name just a few. In the last program he directed, Dowell chose to feature The Dream and A Month in the Country, both left to him in Ashton's will.

It seems fitting that as he celebrates his 70th, Dowell is again paired with Sibley: The pair are coaching The Royal’s tribute to Ashton, which runs through February 23.  

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