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Nureyev the life by Julie Kavanagh
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Nureyev the life

by Julie Kavanagh

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1782115,259 (4.19)3
"Here is the definitive biography of one of the most iconic ballet dancers of the twentieth century. Rudolf Nureyev had it all: beauty, genius, charm, passion, and sex appeal. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement, for both men and women, on or off the stage. With Nureyev: The Life, Julie Kavanagh shows how his intense drive and passion for dance propelled Nureyev from a poor Tatar-peasant background to the most sophisticated circles of London, Paris, and New York. His dramatic defection to the West in 1961 created a Cold War crisis and made him an instant celebrity, but this was just the beginning. Nureyev spent the rest of his life breaking barriers: reinventing male technique, "crashing the gates" of modern dance, iconoclastically updating the most hallowed classics, and making dance history by partnering England's prima ballerina assoluta, Margot Fonteyn - a woman twice his age." "He danced for almost all the major choreographers - Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, Maurice Bejart, Roland Petit - his main motive, he claimed, for having left the Kirov. But Nureyev also made it his mission to stage Russia's full-length masterpieces in the West. His highly personal productions of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Baymonda, Romeo and Juliet, and La Bayadere are the mainstays of the Paris Opera Ballet repertory to this day. An inspirational director and teacher, Nureyev was a Diaghilev-like mentor to proteges across the globe - from Karen Kain and Monica Mason (now directors themselves), to Sylvie Guillem, Elisabeth Platel, Laurent Hilaire, and Kenneth Greve." "Sex, as much as dance, was a driving force for Nureyev. From his first secret liaison in Russia to his tempestuous relationship with the great Danish dancer Erik Bruh, we not only see Nureyev's notorious homosexual history unfold but also learn of his profound effect on women - whether a sixties wild child or Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill or the aging Marlene Dietrich. Among the first victims of AIDS, Nurevev was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1984 but defied the disease for nearly a decade, dancing, directing the Paris Opera Ballet, choreographing, and even beginning a new career as a conductor. Still making plans for the future, Nureyev finally succumbed and died in January 1993." "Drawing on previously undisclosed letters, diaries, home-movie footage, interviews with Nureyev's inner circle, and her own dance background. Julie Kavanagh gives us the most intimate, revealing, and dramatic picture we have ever had of this dazzling. complex figure."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)
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Nureyev: The Life by Julie Kavanagh

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A beautifully written and evocative biography that positions Nureyev within his family and cultural contexts. The author really knows her subject and it shows on every page. This book would please both balletomanes and those new to the world of dance. ( )
2 vote Imprinted | Oct 24, 2008 |
Like it a lot and want to own it.
  neilliam | Jan 18, 2008 |
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"Here is the definitive biography of one of the most iconic ballet dancers of the twentieth century. Rudolf Nureyev had it all: beauty, genius, charm, passion, and sex appeal. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement, for both men and women, on or off the stage. With Nureyev: The Life, Julie Kavanagh shows how his intense drive and passion for dance propelled Nureyev from a poor Tatar-peasant background to the most sophisticated circles of London, Paris, and New York. His dramatic defection to the West in 1961 created a Cold War crisis and made him an instant celebrity, but this was just the beginning. Nureyev spent the rest of his life breaking barriers: reinventing male technique, "crashing the gates" of modern dance, iconoclastically updating the most hallowed classics, and making dance history by partnering England's prima ballerina assoluta, Margot Fonteyn - a woman twice his age." "He danced for almost all the major choreographers - Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Kenneth MacMillan, Jerome Robbins, Maurice Bejart, Roland Petit - his main motive, he claimed, for having left the Kirov. But Nureyev also made it his mission to stage Russia's full-length masterpieces in the West. His highly personal productions of Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Baymonda, Romeo and Juliet, and La Bayadere are the mainstays of the Paris Opera Ballet repertory to this day. An inspirational director and teacher, Nureyev was a Diaghilev-like mentor to proteges across the globe - from Karen Kain and Monica Mason (now directors themselves), to Sylvie Guillem, Elisabeth Platel, Laurent Hilaire, and Kenneth Greve." "Sex, as much as dance, was a driving force for Nureyev. From his first secret liaison in Russia to his tempestuous relationship with the great Danish dancer Erik Bruh, we not only see Nureyev's notorious homosexual history unfold but also learn of his profound effect on women - whether a sixties wild child or Jackie Kennedy and Lee Radziwill or the aging Marlene Dietrich. Among the first victims of AIDS, Nurevev was diagnosed HIV-positive in 1984 but defied the disease for nearly a decade, dancing, directing the Paris Opera Ballet, choreographing, and even beginning a new career as a conductor. Still making plans for the future, Nureyev finally succumbed and died in January 1993." "Drawing on previously undisclosed letters, diaries, home-movie footage, interviews with Nureyev's inner circle, and her own dance background. Julie Kavanagh gives us the most intimate, revealing, and dramatic picture we have ever had of this dazzling. complex figure."--BOOK JACKET.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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