Julie Kavanagh is the ideal biographer for Rudolph Nureyev. She dispels the fog of glamour, showing the dancer and choreographer relentlessly, obsessively working. She explains clearly, but with a restraint bred of distaste, the backstage intrigues which dogged Nureyev’s career and particularly his last years at the Paris Opera. She delves into his love life, but only to reveal an unpublicised story which helps us better understand his art. As in her previous biography of Frederick Ashton, she writes about dancing itself so vividly, without technical fuss, that the reader imagines actually seeing it.
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'The Craft’s first martyr', John Coustos 'became a celebrity and a sensational symbol for the causes it would claim: tolerance, rational inquiry, cross-border cosmopolitanism, relative equality and enlightened faith.'
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