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Remembering Nureyev: The Trail of a Comet Hardcover – April 6, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Florida; 1st edition (April 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813032091
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813032092
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,574,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

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.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 10, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Remembering Nureyev: The Trail of a Comet is a biography of acclaimed male ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev, as told by one of his closest friends, the European choreographer Rudi van Dantzig, who first met Nureyev when Nureyev asked for permission to dance in one of van Dantzig's ballets. Expertly translated into English by Katie de Haan, Remembering Nureyev is a tale of conflict as well as closeness; though Nureyev was a genius in the realm of ballet, his over-the-top lifestyle frequently brought him at odds with Dantzig, who had a very strict concept of how his dances should be performed and portrayed. Dantzig eventually fired Nureyev as the advance of years took its toll upon his skills and his life. An eye-opening, firsthand testimony of the bond between artists.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By northkona on January 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a remarkably good book. Nureyev was a demon for work, and sometimes a demon to work with. Van Dantzig writes about the personal and professional difficulties without rancor, and you appreciate that this might be one of the only accurate descriptions Rudolf's personality, with all its contradictions. The challenges of bringing a new dance piece to the stage are part of the story, and it's through the working relationship of van Dantzig and Nureyev that we learn about Rudolph's brilliance, brains, quirks, and tantrums. It's quite an interesting tale, and has the unmistakable ring of truth to it. This story is told in such a wonderful way, it entirely lacks the cheapness of scandal or gossip. Van Dantzig is a serious man, and talks about his long and sometimes exasperating friendship with Nureyev in a frank and compelling way. It's hard to put the book down.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By U. A. Seemann on May 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Rudi van Dantzig describes his friendship with Rudolf Nureyev with great sensitivity. The author was/is a fine observer of people's follys, but makes no value judgements. which I appreciated.
The book is a finely tuned to the spirit of the 1980s and 1990s, and definately neither whitewashing nor darkening Nureyev's image. The word AIDS is never mentioned, yet one 'knows'.
I recommend this book highly to all fans of Rudolf Nureyev.
Ute Seemann
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By sharon_beth_long on November 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I had read a biography of Nureyev by Julie Kavanaugh and had heard her lecture. I suspect she took a lot of her material from this book. Nevertheless I would recommend the reader read an overview biography of Nureyev first to get the most out of Remebering Nureyev. This book is moving and really unique in that it was by someone who knew Nureyev well over many years but was not intimately involved with him (as far as we know). Therefore he could look at him relatively objectively, although because he was not in Nureyev's inner circle I was sometimes frustrated by gaps (especially in Nureyev's motivation for certain actions). Nevertheless this objective but heartfelt book was very moving. There were two problems however. I do not believe everything was written sequentially which would have been alright if he gave the dates for when certain things occurred but he did not. This was confusing. The other is that the translation leaves a lot to be desired. It is clear that the translator was not a native English speaker and had not lived in an English speaking country for more than three years. There were some passages where the translation was too direct and it sounded VERY awkward.
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