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Rudolf Nureyev documentary unearths unseen footage of ballet’s most famous star

It doesn't happen that often, but there are some great artists whose name retains an unmistakable aura long after their death.

But previously unknown footage of renowned dancer Rudolf Nureyev will be seen for the first time in a new documentary – Nureyev: All The World His Stage .

Ballet’s most famous star can be seen performing, choreographing and rehearsing in material unearthed.

Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev in a rehearsal. Credit: PA

British filmmaker Jacqui Morris was given access to 20 boxes of VHS tapes from the charitable organisation the Nureyev Foundation.

But no one knew that footage of Nureyev that had never been seen before was on those tapes.

"We had literally hundred of old VHS tapes to look through and although they had been catalogue very well by the foundation, you never know with old VHS's.

"You could have a blank piece in the middle where everyone thinks it's finished and then suddenly you scroll through to the end and you find a gem of a piece."

Nureyev’s dramatic defection from the Soviet Union in 1961 marked a pivotal moment in history. Credit: PA

It was Nureyev defection to the West in 1961, at the height of the Cold War, that made him world famous.

He didn't enjoy being filmed on stage but allowed close friends to get footage, where he can be seen choreographing more modern and avant-garde dance.