Erik Bruhn first performed the role of Albrecht in a 1955 matinee after a mere 3 days of rehearsal. May we remind you that David Hallberg flew to Amsterdam to prepare for the same role? Bruhn had 3 days.
Even more ridiculous, the performance made history. The New York Times dubbed it “a date to write down in the history books, for it was as if the greatest Giselle of today [Markova] were handing over a sacred trust to what is probably the greatest Albrecht of tomorrow.”
After his career changing performances with Dame Alicia Markova, Bruhn was famously paired with Sonia Arova (we featured a video of Bruhn in this blog post where Anne Mueller discussed her early teachers) and Carla Fracci. Bruhn was a brilliant partner, thoughtful actor and refined technician, but many believed it was his innate nobility and elegance made him an Albrecht for the history books.
Here we have Bruhn with Fracci in La Sylphide – fast forward to 1:45 to see him really take off (while wearing a kilt!)....
So that’s our list of famous Albrechts: Nureyev, Baryshnikov, Hallberg, Bujones and Bruhn. Do you agree? Who did we miss?