Erik Bruhn
Erik Belton Evers Bruhn was a Danish
Danish people or Danes are the nation and ethnic group that is native to Denmark, and who speak Danish.The first mention of Danes within the Danish territory is on the Jelling Rune Stone which mentions how Harald Bluetooth converted the Danes to Christianity in the 10th century...

Ballet is a type of performance dance, that originated in the Italian Renaissance courts of the 15th century, and which was further developed in France and Russia as a concert dance form. The early portions preceded the invention of the proscenium stage and were presented in large chambers with...

 dancer, choreographer, company director
Artistic director
An artistic director is the executive of an arts organization, particularly in a theatre company, that handles the organization's artistic direction. He or she is generally a producer and director, but not in the sense of a mogul, since the organization is generally a non-profit organization...

, actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

, and author
An author is broadly defined as "the person who originates or gives existence to anything" and that authorship determines responsibility for what is created. Narrowly defined, an author is the originator of any written work.-Legal significance:...



Erik Bruhn was born in Copenhagen
Copenhagen is the capital and largest city of Denmark, with an urban population of 1,199,224 and a metropolitan population of 1,930,260 . With the completion of the transnational Øresund Bridge in 2000, Copenhagen has become the centre of the increasingly integrating Øresund Region...

, Denmark
Denmark is a Scandinavian country in Northern Europe. The countries of Denmark and Greenland, as well as the Faroe Islands, constitute the Kingdom of Denmark . It is the southernmost of the Nordic countries, southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, and bordered to the south by Germany. Denmark...

, the fourth child and first son of Ellen (née Evers), owner of a hairdressing salon, and third child of Ernst Bruhn. His parents married shortly before his birth. Bruhn began training with the Royal Danish Ballet
Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in the world. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, it originates from 1748, when the Royal Danish Theatre was founded, and was finally organized in 1771 in response to the great popularity of French and Italian styles of dance...

 when he was nine years old, and made his unofficial début on the stage of Copenhagen's Royal Opera House in 1946, dancing the role of Adonis in Harald Lander
Harald Lander
Harald Lander is a Danish dancer, choreographer and artistic director of the Royal Danish Ballet.Lander started as a dancer, studying under ballet master Michel Fokine in 1926-27...

's ballet Thorvaldsen. He was taken permanently into the company in 1947 at the age of eighteen. Bruhn took the first of his frequent sabbaticals from the Danish company in 1947, dancing for six months with the short-lived Metropolitan Ballet in England, where he formed his first major partnership, with the Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

n ballerina Sonia Arova
Sonia Arova
Sonia Arova , born was a Bulgarian ballerina.She was born as Sonia Errio in Sofia, Bulgaria, and began her training in Paris. With the beginning of the Second World War, she barely escaped the Nazi advance through a reckless flight which was attacked by German planes...

. He returned to the Royal Danish Ballet in the spring of 1948 and was promoted to soloist in 1949, the highest level a dancer can attain in the Danish ballet. Later in 1949, he again took a leave of absence and joined American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre
American Ballet Theatre , based in New York City, was one of the foremost ballet companies of the 20th century. It continues as a leading dance company in the world today...

 in New York
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, where he would dance regularly for the next nine years, although his home company continued to be the Royal Danish Ballet.

The turning point in Bruhn's international career came on May 1, 1955 with his début in the role of Albrecht in Giselle
Giselle is a ballet in two acts with a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Théophile Gautier, music by Adolphe Adam, and choreography by Jean Coralli and Jules Perrot. The librettist took his inspiration from a poem by Heinrich Heine...

partnering Dame Alicia Markova
Alicia Markova
Dame Alicia Markova, DBE, DMus, was an English ballerina and a choreographer, director and teacher of classical ballet. Most noted for her career with Sergei Diaghilev's Ballets Russes and touring internationally, she was widely considered to be one of the greatest classical ballet dancers of the...

, nearly twenty years his senior, in a matinée with Ballet Theatre in New York after only three days of rehearsal. The performance caused a sensation. Dance critic John Martin
John Martin (dance critic)
John Martin became America’s first major dance critic in 1927. Focusing his efforts on propelling the modern dance movement, he greatly influenced the careers of dancers such as Martha Graham...

, writing in the New York Times, called it "a date to write down in the history books, for it was as if the greatest Giselle of today were handing over a sacred trust to what is probably the greatest Albrecht of tomorrow." In an article entitled “The Matinée that Made History” in Dance News in June 1955, P.W. Machester wrote:

Technically exacting as it is, the role of Albrecht is not beyond the capabilities of any competent premier danseur, and Erik Bruhn is infinitely more than that; he is probably the most completely equipped male dancer of the day, with the flawlessly clean technique that comes only through a combination of enormous talent allied to correct day-by-day training from childhood … If his dancing was magnificent, and it was, his partnering of and playing to Markova were no less so. The result was one of those electrifying performances when everyone both in the audience and on the stage is aware that something extraordinary is happening.

Bruhn formally resigned from the Danish ballet in 1961, by which time he had become internationally known as a phenomenon, although he continued to dance periodically with the company as a guest artist. In May 1961, he returned to Ballet Theatre for its New York season. In its May 5 issue, Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

 magazine published a major article on the dancer and his art:

Back home Bruhn, 32, is the idol of the Royal Danish Ballet, where he has brought new life to the classic roles reserved for a premier danseur noble. His technical credentials include a fine dramatic sense and an ability to leap with a high-arching grace, to turn with cat quickness and fluidity on the ground or in midair, to project emotion with vivid movements of arms, legs and body. But Bruhn long ago became aware that "technique is not enough," and he is remarkable for the feeling of tension he can convey by his mere presence. Poised and trim (5 ft. 7 in., 140 lbs.), he somehow rivets an audience with the promise of action before he has danced a step ... As Bruhn soars ever closer to his apogee, he spends restless nights reviewing roles in his mind. He has surprisingly little of the vanity that goads most performers; he does not want audiences to pay, he says, "only to see me jump." Furthermore, he would rather "be bad in a good ballet than be great in a bad ballet." But to be great in a good ballet? To do it, says Erik Bruhn, "it is important, even if you performed a role the night before, to think, 'This is the first time this is going to happen.' "

During the next 10 years, Bruhn formed long relationships as a guest artist not only with Ballet Theatre but with most all of the major ballet companies in Europe and North America, including the New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet
New York City Ballet is a ballet company founded in 1948 by choreographer George Balanchine and Lincoln Kirstein. Leon Barzin was the company's first music director. Balanchine and Jerome Robbins are considered the founding choreographers of the company...

, the Joffrey Ballet
Joffrey Ballet
The Joffrey Ballet is a dance company in Chicago, Illinois, founded in 1956. From 1995 to 2004, the company was known as The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago. The company regularly performs classical ballets including Romeo & Juliet and The Nutcracker, while balancing those classics with pioneering modern...

, the National Ballet of Canada
National Ballet of Canada
The National Ballet of Canada is Canada's largest ballet troupe. It was founded by Celia Franca in 1951 and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Based upon the unity of Canadian trained dancers in the tradition and style of England's Royal Ballet, The National is regarded as one of the premier classical...

, the Paris Opera Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet
The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest national ballet company in the world, and many European and international ballet companies can trace their origins to it...

, and London's Royal Ballet. He was best known for his lead roles in La Sylphide
La Sylphide
La Sylphide is one of the world's oldest surviving romantic ballets. There were two versions of the ballet; the version choreographed by the Danish balletmaster August Bournonville is the only version known to have survived....

, Giselle, Frederick Ashton
Frederick Ashton
Sir Frederick William Mallandaine Ashton OM, CH, CBE was a leading international dancer and choreographer. He is most noted as the founder choreographer of The Royal Ballet in London, but also worked as a director and choreographer of opera, film and theatre revues.-Early life:Ashton was born at...

's Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately unite their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular archetypal stories of young, teenage lovers.Romeo and Juliet belongs to a...

, and Swan Lake
Swan Lake
Swan Lake ballet, op. 20, by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, composed 1875–1876. The scenario, initially in four acts, was fashioned from Russian folk tales and tells the story of Odette, a princess turned into a swan by an evil sorcerer's curse. The choreographer of the original production was Julius Reisinger...

. John Cranko
John Cranko
John Cyril Cranko was a choreographer with the Sadler's Wells Ballet and the Stuttgart Ballet....

 made Daphnis and Chlöe on him in 1962 at the Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet
Stuttgart Ballet was the first major German ballet company. It rose to fame in the 1960s under Artistic Director John Cranko. The company, which is renowned for presentations of full-length narrative ballets including Romeo and Juliet, Eugene Onegin, The Taming of the Shrew, John Neumeier's Die...

, which Bruhn considered his favorite from amongst the ballets created specifically for him. He was also acclaimed in dramatic roles, such as Jean in Birgit Cullberg
Birgit Cullberg
Birgit Cullberg was a Swedish choreographer. The daughter of bank manager Carl Cullberg and Elna Westerström, Cullberg was born in Nyköping and married from 1942 to 1949 to actor Anders Ek...

's Miss Julie, the Moor in José Limón
José Limón
José Arcadio Limón was a pioneer in the field of modern dance and choreography. In 1928, at age 20, he moved to New York City where he studied under Doris Humphrey and Charles Weidman. In 1946, Limón founded the José Limón Dance Company...

's The Moor's Pavane
The Moor's Pavane
The Moor's Pavane is a 20-minute ballet based upon the tragedy Othello by William Shakespeare. The ballet was choreographed by José Limón to music arranged by Simon Sadoff from Henry Purcell's Abdelazer, The Gordion Knot Untied, and the pavane from Pavane and Chaconne for Strings. The ballet's four...

, and Don José in Roland Petit
Roland Petit
Roland Petit was a French choreographer and dancer born in Villemomble, near Paris, France. He trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet school, and became well known for his creative ballets.-Biography:...

's Carmen
Carmen is a French opéra comique by Georges Bizet. The libretto is by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, based on the novella of the same title by Prosper Mérimée, first published in 1845, itself possibly influenced by the narrative poem The Gypsies by Alexander Pushkin...

. In addition to Sonia Arova, Bruhn had significant dance partnerships with a large and unusually varied number of ballerinas: the Americans Cynthia Gregory
Cynthia Gregory
Cynthia Kathleen Gregory is an American ballerina.-Career:Born in Los Angeles, Gregory’s parents encouraged her to take up dancing when she was five, hoping exercise would stem a history of childhood illnesses. By age six, she was en pointe...

, Nora Kaye
Nora Kaye
Nora Kaye was an American ballerina called the Duse of Dance after acclaimed actress Eleonora Duse. She also worked in films as a choreographer and producer....

, Allegra Kent
Allegra Kent
Allegra Kent is an American ballet dancer and actress.Born in Santa Monica, Kent studied with Bronislava Nijinska and Carmelita Maracci before joining the School of American Ballet. After graduating, she joined the New York City Ballet in 1953 at the age of 15, and was promoted to principal in 1957...

, and Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief
Maria Tallchief was the first native-American prima ballerina. From 1942 to 1947 she danced with the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, but she is best known for her time with the New York City Ballet from 1947 to 1965.-Early life:...

; the Russian
Russian ballet
Russian ballet is a form of ballet characteristic of or originating from Russia. In the early 19th century, the theaters were opened up to anyone who could afford a ticket. There was a seating section called a rayok, or 'paradise gallery', that consisted of simple wooden benches...

 Natalia Makarova
Natalia Makarova
Nataliya Romanovna Makarova is the legendary Soviet-Russian-born prima ballerina. The History of Dance, published in 1981, notes that “Her performances set standards of artistry and aristocracy of dance which mark her as the finest ballerina of her generation.” She has also won awards as an...

; the Dane Kirstin Simone; the British Nadia Nerina
Nadia Nerina
Nadia Nerina was a South African ballerina. She moved to England and joined the Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet, where she became a prima ballerina at the age of 25. She was one of the first western dancers to appear with the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow during the Cold War...

; and, most famously, with the Italian
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

 prima ballerina Carla Fracci
Carla Fracci
Carla Fracci is a ballet dancer and actress. Her career highlights include Nijinsky, Giselle , Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances: Erik Bruhn 1961-1967.-FAO Ambassador:...


In his book, Beyond Technique (1968), Bruhn discussed his thoughts on partnering:

It has been noticed that I have been able to work with many different kinds of ballerinas, and on most occasions we succeeded in becoming a team if only for a season or two. And that is because I always wanted to relate to them. I don't remain the same. Each ballerina is different; she has a special flavor or she wouldn't be a ballerina. This would color my style and shape my approach. I remain true to myself, but I let her flavor color me as mine colors her ... A good partnership can somehow crystallize something that you have been doing already. When the right people come together, they bring the right thing out of each other ... With the right person, it becomes a situation of being rather than playing ...The role absorbs you and you become it. And then it seems like you can do nothing wrong because you are so totally absorbed by this being.

Bruhn was made a Knight of the Order of the Dannebrog
Order of the Dannebrog
The Order of the Dannebrog is an Order of Denmark, instituted in 1671 by Christian V. It resulted from a move in 1660 to break the absolutism of the nobility. The Order was only to comprise 50 noble Knights in one class plus the Master of the Order, i.e. the Danish monarch, and his sons...

, one of Denmark's highest honors, in 1963, the same year he was awarded the Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky
Vaslav Nijinsky was a Russian ballet dancer and choreographer of Polish descent, cited as the greatest male dancer of the 20th century. He grew to be celebrated for his virtuosity and for the depth and intensity of his characterizations...

 Prize in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. After retiring as a Danseur Noble
Danseur noble
A danseur noble traditionally was a male ballet dancer who projected great nobility of character. Over the last century the term has been used to define a male principal dancer who performs at the highest theatrical level combing grace with ability...

in 1972, Bruhn danced character roles, such as Madge the Witch in La Sylphide, Dr. Coppelius
Coppélia is a sentimental comic ballet with original choreography by Arthur Saint-Léon to a ballet libretto by Saint-Léon and Charles Nuitter and music by Léo Delibes. It was based upon two macabre stories by E. T. A. Hoffmann, Der Sandmann , and Die Puppe...

, and Petrushka. He was director of the Swedish Opera Ballet from 1967 to 1973 and the National Ballet of Canada
National Ballet of Canada
The National Ballet of Canada is Canada's largest ballet troupe. It was founded by Celia Franca in 1951 and is based in Toronto, Ontario. Based upon the unity of Canadian trained dancers in the tradition and style of England's Royal Ballet, The National is regarded as one of the premier classical...

 from 1983 until his death in 1986. Although twice offered the directorship of the Royal Danish Ballet
Royal Danish Ballet
The Royal Danish Ballet is one of the oldest ballet companies in the world. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, it originates from 1748, when the Royal Danish Theatre was founded, and was finally organized in 1771 in response to the great popularity of French and Italian styles of dance...

, he twice declined the post. His productions of full-length classical ballets
Classical ballet
Classical Ballet is the most formal of the ballet styles, it adheres to traditional ballet technique. There are variations relating to area of origin, such as Russian ballet, French ballet, British ballet and Italian ballet...

, such as La Sylphide, Giselle, Coppélia, and his somewhat controversial Swan Lake for the National Ballet of Canada, were well received, as were his stagings of pas de deux
Pas de deux
In ballet, a pas de deux is a duet in which ballet dancers perform the dance together. It usually consists of an entrée, adagio, two variations , and a coda.-Notable Pas de deux:...

 from the Bournonville repertoire. A superb teacher and coach, Bruhn was dedicated to imparting purity of form and dance as drama not spectacle. He believed in "complete identification" with the character being portrayed, "but under complete control. Because if you lose yourself completely, you cannot communicate." In 1974, he played a leading role in the stage play Rashomon
Rashomon may refer to:* Rashōmon, the former main city gate in two Japanese capital cities, Heijokyō and Heiankyō * Rashōmon , a short story by Ryūnosuke Akutagawa first published in 1915...

with Susse Wold in Denmark, for which he won acclaim.

Bruhn met Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Nureyev
Rudolf Khametovich Nureyev was a Russian dancer, considered one of the most celebrated ballet dancers of the 20th century. Nureyev's artistic skills explored expressive areas of the dance, providing a new role to the male ballet dancer who once served only as support to the women.In 1961 he...

, the celebrated Tatar dancer, after Nureyev defected to the West in 1961. Nureyev was a great admirer of Bruhn, having seen filmed performances of the Dane on tour in Russia with American Ballet Theatre, although stylistically the two dancers were very different. Bruhn became the great love of Nureyev's life and the two remained close for 25 years, until Bruhn's death.

Erik Bruhn died in Toronto General Hospital
Toronto General Hospital
The Toronto General Hospital , is a part of the University Health Network, and a major teaching hospital in downtown Toronto, Ontario. It is located in the Discovery District, directly north of the Hospital for Sick Children, across Gerrard Street West, and east of Princess Margaret Hospital and...

 on April 1, 1986 at the age of 57. His death was attributed to lung cancer
Lung cancer
Lung cancer is a disease characterized by uncontrolled cell growth in tissues of the lung. If left untreated, this growth can spread beyond the lung in a process called metastasis into nearby tissue and, eventually, into other parts of the body. Most cancers that start in lung, known as primary...

. However, according to Pierre-Henri Verlhac, he might have died of AIDS
Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus...

. He is buried in an unmarked grave at Mariebjerg Cemetery in Gentofte, an affluent northern suburb of Copenhagen, near the house where he grew up.

Dance critic John Rockwell
John Rockwell
John Rockwell is a music critic, editor, and dance critic. He studied at Phillips Academy, Harvard, the University of Munich, and the University of California, Berkeley, earning a Ph.D. in German culture....

, in his obituary of Bruhn, noted:

Mr. Bruhn was valued more as an epitome of manly elegance and for the sensitivity of his acting than as a virtuoso technician. As a partner he was grave and deferential, yet he never subsided meekly into the background. And as a poetic actor, he lifted male leading roles in the classic ballets to a new prominence ... Mikhail Baryshnikov
Mikhail Baryshnikov
Mikhail Nikolaevich Baryshnikov is a Soviet and American dancer, choreographer, and actor, often cited alongside Vaslav Nijinsky and Rudolf Nureyev as one of the greatest ballet dancers of the 20th century. After a promising start in the Kirov Ballet in Leningrad, he defected to Canada in 1974...

 [said] "He was indisputably one of the greatest dancers we have ever seen, and his dignity and style have been a model to us all, which can not be replaced."

Clive Barnes
Clive Barnes (critic)
Clive Alexander Barnes, CBE was a British-born American writer and critic. From 1965 to 1977 he was the dance and theater critic for the New York Times, the most powerful position he had held, since its theater critics' reviews historically have had great influence on the success or failure of...

 had named Erik Bruhn "the greatest male classical dancer of his time" when Bruhn retired in 1972. In an appreciation of Bruhn's accomplishments published in The New York Times shortly after his death, dance critic Anna Kisselgoff
Anna Kisselgoff
Anna Kisselgoff is a dance critic and cultural news reporter for the New York Times. She began at the Times as a dance critic and cultural news reporter in 1968, and became its Chief Dance Critic in 1977, a role she held until 2005...


He was, then, the model of perfection as a dancer - precise in every step, beautifully placed, a virtuoso technician, noble in bearing, elegant in every gesture. His line was extraordinary, his leg beats - a legacy of his Danish training - amazing. He was one of the few dancers who could bring the house down simply by executing a series of entrechats
Glossary of ballet
Ballet is a formalized type of dance; ballet dance is usually performed on stage as part of a ballet dance work which includes mime, acting, and is set to music...

 as James in La Sylphide. The steps, no matter how brilliantly executed, were always part of a deeper concept, part of a characterization. Erik Bruhn was a complete dancer - a far cry from the highly specialized artist he was often made out to be ... His moral example to the rest of ballet came through the concentration and seriousness with which he committed himself to every role.

In a codicil to his will, Bruhn left part of his estate for the establishment of The Erik Bruhn Prize, recognizing dancers from the three companies with which he was most closely associated: the Royal Danish Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, and the National Ballet of Canada, each of which are invited to send one male and one female dancer to the competition, held in Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

, Canada. Bruhn specified that the prize be awarded to two young dancers who "reflect such technical ability, artistic achievement and dedication as I endeavored to bring to dance." Competitors for the prize are between the ages of 18 and 23 and are selected by their respective Artistic Directors. For the competition, each dancer performs in a classical pas de deux and variations and a contemporary pas de deux or solo work. The first Erik Bruhn Prize was awarded in 1988.

Bruhn authored Beyond Technique with photos by Fred Fehl
Fred Fehl
Fred Fehl was an American photographer of Viennese birth and upbringing. He was the cousin of the Art Historian Philipp Fehl and the inventor and Electrical Engineer Paul Eisler....

 (1968, reissued as No. 36 of "Dance Perspectives" in 1973), and with Lillian Moore he co-authored Bournonville and Ballet Technique: Studies and Comments on August Bournonville's Etudes Choregraphiques (1961, reprinted 2005). He was the subject of the book Erik Bruhn: Danseur Noble (1979) by John Gruen, written with his cooperation and based in part on extensive interviews. A 2008 biography in Danish by Alexander Meinertz, Erik Bruhn - Billedet indeni (The Picture Within), has yet to be translated into English.

Bruhn was posthumously recognized in 1987 for "exemplary contributions to Canada and its culture" as the first recipient of the annual Pagurian Award for Excellence in the Arts.


A few of Erik Bruhn's performances have been preserved, several of which are available on DVD and on-line:
  • Symphonie Fantastique
    Symphonie Fantastique
    Symphonie Fantastique: Épisode de la vie d'un Artiste...en cinq parties , Op. 14, is a program symphony written by the French composer Hector Berlioz in 1830. It is one of the most important and representative pieces of the early Romantic period, and is still very popular with concert audiences...

    , filmed in 1948 with the Royal Danish Ballet, choreography by Léonide Massine. A work film, shot without sound and showing the dancers in practice dress. Available on DVD through the Dance Film Archive of Ohio State University.
  • Pas de deux, choreographed by Roland Petit, with the French
    French ballet
    The "École Française" , is characterized by an emphasis on precision, elegance, and sobriety.Mega-star dancer & choreographer Rudolf Nureyev choreographed re-worked versions of the great academic classic ballets , and directed the Paris Opera...

     ballerina Zizi Jeanmaire
    Zizi Jeanmaire
    Zizi Jeanmaire is a ballet dancer and widow of renowned dancer and choreographer Roland Petit. She became famous in the 1950s after playing the title role in the ballet version of Carmen, produced in London in 1949, and went on to appear in several Hollywood films.-Background:Born in Paris,...

     in the 1952 Goldwyn film Hans Christian Andersen
    Hans Christian Andersen (film)
    Hans Christian Andersen is a 1952 Hollywood musical film directed by Charles Vidor, with words and music by Frank Loesser. The story was by Myles Connolly, its screenplay was by Moss Hart and Ben Hecht , and was produced by The Samuel Goldwyn Company...

    . Available on DVD.
  • Four short pieces were filmed in 1955 at Jacob's Pillow
    Jacob's Pillow
    Jacob’s Pillow Dance is a dance center, school and performance space located in Becket, Massachusetts, in the Berkshires. The organization is known for the oldest internationally acclaimed summer dance festival in the United States. The facility also includes a professional school and extensive...

    : Giselle Act II pas de deux with Alicia Alonso
    Alicia Alonso
    Alicia Alonso Martínez is the Cuban prima ballerina assoluta and choreographer. Her company became the Ballet de Cuba in 1955....

    ; and the Don Quixote pas de deux, Giselle Act II pas de deux, and The Nutcracker
    The Nutcracker
    The Nutcracker is a two-act ballet, originally choreographed by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov with a score by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. The libretto is adapted from E.T.A. Hoffmann's story "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King". It was given its première at the Mariinsky Theatre in St...

    Act II pas de deux, all with Mary Ellen Moylan.
  • "The Ed Sullivan Show
    The Ed Sullivan Show
    The Ed Sullivan Show is an American TV variety show that originally ran on CBS from Sunday June 20, 1948 to Sunday June 6, 1971, and was hosted by New York entertainment columnist Ed Sullivan....

    " (25 August 1957) with Nora Kaye in the Black Swan pas de deux from Swan Lake.
  • "The Bell Telephone Hour
    The Bell Telephone Hour
    The Bell Telephone Hour is a long-run concert series which began April 29, 1940 on NBC Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone, it showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television...

    " broadcasts: Don Quixote
    Don Quixote (ballet)
    Don Quixote is a ballet originally staged in four acts and eight scenes, based on an episode taken from the famous novel Don Quixote de la Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes. It was originally choreographed by Marius Petipa to the music of Ludwig Minkus and was first presented by the Ballet of the...

     pas de deux with Maria Tallchief (from 1961); Act II of La Sylphide (1962) and a pas de deux from Romeo and Juliet choreographed by Bruhn (1967), both with Carla Fracci; the Black Swan pas de deux with Sonia Arova (1963), and the Act III pas de deux from Coppélia, also with Arova (1963). Available on the DVD "Rudolf Nureyev & Erik Bruhn - Their Complete Bell Telephone Hour Performances (1961-1967)," which also includes Tallchief and Nureyev dancing a pas de deux from Flower Festival in Genzano choreographed by Bruhn after Bournonville (from 1962).
  • "The Art of the Pas de Deux": pas de deux from Don Quixote with Maria Tallchief; includes Tallchief and Nureyev in the Flower Festival in Genzano pas de deux choreographed by Bruhn. Available on DVD. Both performances are from "The Bell Telephone Hour" broadcasts and both also can be seen on the DVD "The Art of Maria Tallchief."
  • Full-length Giselle with Carla Fracci and American Ballet Theatre (1969), which has been criticized for its eccentric camera work. Available on DVD.
  • Erik Bruhn: I'm the Same, Only More - A Personal Portrait of the Legendary Dancer (2002), a posthumous 42-minute film biography by his friend, the Danish filmmaker Lennart Pasborg, includes performance footage and a recorded monologue by Bruhn used as a voice-over for clips and stills. Won an award at Cannes
    Cannes Film Festival
    The Cannes International Film Festival , is an annual film festival held in Cannes, France, which previews new films of all genres including documentaries from around the world. Founded in 1946, it is among the world's most prestigious and publicized film festivals...

     for use of archival material.

Performance Reviews and Critiques

External links

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