Nijinsky's Last Dance

A one man tour-de-force that delves into the psyche of dance legend, Vaslav Nijinsky

Review by Louise Black | 06 Aug 2007

Vaslav Nijinsky, one of the greatest male dancers of all time, was discovered at the tender age of 9. As with many child protégées, the pressure of living in a whirlwind of fame and excitement proved too much for the young star, as he ended up in a mental asylum, sadly retiring from dance at the age of 29.

Ricardo Melendez is utterly believable as the unstable and slightly crazed Nijinsky. Creating a sense of incredible vulnerability, he encapsulates the audience as he tumbles back on a journey retelling the colourful tale through the dancer’s eyes.

“I am Nijinksky, I am Nijinsky, I am…”. This recurring statement evokes a feeling of pity and sorrow as the dancer moves the audience through his extraordinary life with the view that the world makes greater demands than simply the talent that is given by God.

Melendez powers on through the difficult tale, moving swiftly from one character to the next, creating an easily identifiable persona for each. His rippling body tackles this intense piece of physical theatre with ease, and his talent as both dancer and actor leads one to believe that they are in the presence of the troubled man himself. Melendez is Nijinksky.