"The quality of greatness in a dancer is as indefinable as beauty," Clive Barnes states. In his comprehensive account of Rudolf Nureyev's artistic career in the West, the author further adds: "If one person could be called the world's greatest dancer it would just have to be Rudolf Nureyev." Mr. Barnes, foremost dance and drama critic, has followed the meteoric development of Mr. Nureyev's career over several continents from the very first days of his defection on June 17, 1961. Nureyev's spectacular leap toward freedom at Paris' Le Bourget Airport, followed by his debut in London at Covent Garden, brought him instant recognition and resounding success. Throughout his legendary partnership with Margot Fonteyn, through ceaseless travels, and countless performances, his bold, innovative, artistic accomplishments, the dancer has achieved a level of fame similar to that of his illustrious predecessors Diaghilev, Nijinsky and Pavlova. Clive Barnes examines in depth Nureyev's versatile talent, equally at ease performing, directing, choreographing, and acting in films and TV. As Nureyev made his way from the cold, Eastern steppes of Siberia to the polished salons of the glamour-society scene, he danced on virtually all of the world's stages, altered the course of classical ballet, and restored the male dancer to a new prominence. His never-ending quest for new vistas, new dimensions has led Nureyev to explore modern-dance and to provide fresh insight into both modern and classical dance. "In many ways," observes Clive Barnes, ''Nureyev has changed the face of ballet."