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A revealing portrait of a legendary ballet performer discusses his celebrated defection in 1961, his struggles as a product of Stalinist Russia, his partnership with Dame Margot Fonteyn, and his battle with AIDS. 35,000 first printing. National ad/promo.
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This first full-fledged biography of the "greatest male ballet dancer" of our times since his death from AIDS in 1992 traces his achievements and discloses the private life he managed to obscure so well from the media. Stuart convincingly tells how Nureyev, a dancer of boundless energy and appetite, changed the role and image of male ballet dancers with his athleticism and sexuality. In trying to impart an epic quality to his biography, Stuart's Rudik, Rudi, Rudolf three-part structure proves conducive to revealing Nureyev's drive and personality. Beginning with Rudik, of Tartar descent, a child born on a train, Stuart reveals a peripatetic young life, spent traveling in Stalin's Russia from place to place, over great distances, living off relatives, surviving by the wiles of a mother determined to keep her family intact during some mean times until they could rejoin their military father. As one ballet dancer remarked, "He was born on a train and spent the rest of life going 100 miles per hour." The celebrated defection at the Paris airport ended Nureyev's Russian connection. Then there is Rudi, a dynamo on stage, wildly promiscuous in his private life. He became an international sex symbol. To director James Toback during negotiations for Exposed, Rudi said, "You don't really expect me to go without sex for more than ten or eleven hours, do you?" As Rudolf, at the height of his fame, he worked ceaselessly; he had homes across the world. Stuart discloses that Nureyev had likely been HIV-positive for a decade. But, he fought his disease, working up to three months before his death. On hearing that Clark Tippett, the American dancer, had been diagnosed with AIDS, Rudolf said, "Tell him never to stop dancing." Such an indomitable will is fascinating to encounter, and taken with all the other vignettes about Nureyev's career (the fiery and devoted friendship and ballet partnership with Dame Margot Fonteyn and his difficult later years in Paris), this life story illuminates the nature of creativity on many levels. The writer's style is tiresome at times, but that doesn't deter readers from satisfying their curiosity about a fantastic dancer or in recalling images of the dancer in motion. Bonnie SmothersFrom Publishers Weekly:
In this first biography since Nureyev's death from AIDS in 1993, dance critic Stuart casts an insider's eye on the public and private lives of this icon of ballet artistry and Cold War intrigue. Born in 1938 on board Russia's transcontinental railway near Irkutsk, Nureyev experienced a childhood of poverty that fueled his voracious adult appetites for dance, sex and money. According to the author, the young Kirov Ballet star's 1961 escape from Soviet agents in Paris and his defection to the West had more to do with ego than politics. Stuart chronicles Nureyev's tenacious ability to sustain a lucrative performing career well into middle age despite being HIV infected for a decade. Coupled with his phenomenal work ethic was Nureyev's temper: he sent two colleagues to the hospital with kicks to the rear. Against the backdrop of Nureyev's legendary partnership with Margot Fonteyn, Stuart provides a brutally frank portrait of his very active homosexual conduct?never publicly acknowledged?in the era before AIDS. Among a wealth of anecdotes, we learn how, during a Melbourne performance with the Australian Ballet, Nureyev was detained during intermission by the vice squad in a public lavatory, where he had stopped for "a quickie" with "a young, tall bloke." The company held the curtain; Fonteyn was enraged. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Simon & Schuster, New York, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. New. (Presumed First and number line starts with 1.) Could be gifted. Dust jacket not price clipped ($24.95). No spots, writing or markings inside or outside. Seller Inventory # 001811
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1995. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0671875396
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0671875396 Dispatched from London. Seller Inventory # Z0671875396ZN
Book Description Simon & Schuster, 1995. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX0671875396
Book Description Simon & Schuster. Hardcover. Condition: New. 0671875396 New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW7.0252581