Nureyev dancing in The Muppet show

Rudolf Nureyev Muppet Show

The MUPPET SHOW, a television series created by Jim Henson in 1976, was a highly original show in which puppets played host to well-known stars who found themselves in satirical, comedy situations. An invitation was extended to Nureyev in October 1977, and the episode was broadcast shortly after the release of Valentino.

Nureyev can be seen in a parody of classical ballet accompanied by Miss Piggy in a “pas de deux” from “Swine Lake” (allusion to Swan Lake, swine meaning pig and a contemptible person). He also performed a tap dance number to the 1940’s song “Putting on my top hat”, wearing top hat and tails. Nureyev had an enormous amount of admiration for Fred Astaire, and it obviously gave him great pleasure to do this tap-dance number whilst falling in with the puppets’ games.

The complete Muppet Show series was released on video cassette in 2001 (the episode with Nureyev is on video cassette no.8), and Columbia – Tristar Home Entertainment put the series out on DVD in March 2002.