DAVID RUSH
Writer
Scene from "Nureyev's Eyes"
The opening pages.

A dressing room.

MUSIC:  The "Swan" theme from "Swan Lake."

JAMIE WYETH appears in spotlight and speaks to us. Music 
fades out.

WYETH
Do you recognize that?  The swan music from "Swan Lake."  The prince falls in love with a lady, the lady's been turned into a swan.  The prince has to break the spell. But the evil wizard wreaks havoc so they both wind up ... well, I won't spoil the ending for you.  Some say it's the most famous ballet in history.
(Hums some more of the music)(
I asked him once if Siegfried were his favorite role.

(Lighting expands.  A dressing room backstage.
NUREYEV finishing his makeup as WYETH moves into
the scene and sketches him.

NUREYEV
Is stupid question.   Dancer has no favorite.  You dance everything.  How else stay alive?

WYETH
But there must be one that, I don't know, gives you the greatest satisfaction.

NUREYEV
Greatest satisfaction is paycheck.

WYETH
Come on.

NUREYEV
Second satisfaction is curtain call. The longer the better.  Sometimes curtain call is longer than ballet.

WYETH
Interesting.

NUREYEV
For "Faun" call was 40 minutes.  Ballet only ten.

WYETH
No, not that.  What's interesting is you're avoiding my question. What about this embarrasses you?

NUREYEV
...How is Nureyev like maryoshka?  One guess.

WYETH
I usually get three.

NUREYEV
You have to be smarter tonight.  How is Nureyev like maryoshka?

WYETH
What is that, some exotic step you invented that nobody else can do?

NUREYEV
Is set of Russian dolls, one inside other.  Smaller, smaller, smaller until last one is size of peanut.  Babushka dolls.

WYETH
Ah.  Nesting dolls.  My niece has one.

NUREYEV
Don't stall for time.  How is Nureyev like babushka doll?

WYETH
Too easy.  Because he has mysteries in him.  You have to keep going deeper and deeper to get to the bottom.

NUREYEV
There it is, answer to question.  Is mystery.  Only I know.

WYETH
But there's a fallacy there; your analogy doesn't work.

NUREYEV
I think so it does.



 

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