The tempestuous relationship between two world-class artists
"Van Dantzig's remembrance of Nureyev is a moving testimonial to a complex man and a great dancer. Indeed like a comet, both in sheer physicality and presence, Nureyev left a long trail that will not be forgotten. It is a touching, honest, and deeply satisfying book." —Andre Lewis, Artistic Director of the Royal Winnipeg Ballet
"Rudolf Nureyev made ballet important to twentieth-century culture all over the world because of his magnificent performances and his flamboyance. This is a portrait of the man, written by a choreographer who understood him extremely well."—Monica Moseley, assistant curator, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center
"There have been many biographies and memoirs published about Rudolf Nureyev since his untimely death. Rudi van Dantzig, however, has written the very best portrait to appear in print so far. Nureyev himself asked van Dantzig to write a remembrance. Anyone who reads this book will understand Nureyev's request." ––Mindy Aloff
Famously volatile, fickle in his passions for people, but with astonishing charisma onstage and off, Rudolf Nureyev is regarded as one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the twentieth century. In 1968, Nureyev approached Rudi van Dantzig for permission to dance in one of van Dantzig's ballets. So began a close friendship and artistic collaboration that lasted until Nureyev's death in 1993.
This searing memoir is an uncompromising look at artists in relationship. The passion for dance that drove both men created a bond that was constantly strained by Nureyev's outrageous lifestyle and van Dantzig's uncompromising idea of how his work should be portrayed. Worlds apart in temperament, van Dantzig's demands for high-caliber performances led to the eventual firing of Nureyev as the dancer's prowess waned. This is a book balletomanes cannot miss, with an eagle-eyed sharpness that never dissolves into hagiography or gossip.
About the Author
Rudi van Dantzig is one of the leading European choreographers of his generation and was director of the Dutch National Ballet from 1971 to 1991. He is the author of several award-winning novels and has also been honored with prestigious awards for his choreography.