From Publishers Weekly
The ghost of Rudolf Nureyev is doggedly pursued by Soutar—who, as stage manager of London's Coliseum in the 1980s, knew and idolized him—but never quite caught in a disjointed, sometimes trite, sometimes charming collection of memories from the author and those who knew the dancer best, like his lover-turned-live-in-friend Robert Tracy and Australian Ballet hands Bill Akers and Roger Myers. To those who didn't bask in his radiance, the ballet star (1938–1993) seems more enraging than engaging, testing people by daring them to give back as good as he gave (he virtually invited Soutar to find him buck naked in his dressing room when he was late getting to the stage on their first night working together). Nureyev's generosity and occasional good humor emerge—his aid to an ailing, indigent Tamara Karsavina; his enjoyment at being ribbed by the stagehands—but also his sometimes violent rages. Soutar digresses often, for instance, into her own career and the life of Princess Margaret, one of the women close to Nureyev. After too many exclamations of how extraordinary he was, ballerina Violette Verdy captures Nureyev's raw power best: "He was primitive, untamed. He did everything instinctively, almost barbarously." (Jan.)
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"'I found her view from backstage a fascinating one, the whole process of putting on a ballet, the tensions and dramas that we in the audience do not see. Her portrait of Nureyev is a valuable addition to the many biographies already published.'" Publishing News "'Carolyn Souter, with her unique perspective, has captured the fragility, the compulsion for perfection, and the tremendous work ethic embodied in Rudolph Nureyev. So much of Rudolph's complex life was spent in the theatre, not just onstage, but the very lonely backstage. This moving book is a very full portrait of the great Nureyev, and has revived precious memories for me. Brava Carolyn.'" -- Violette Verdy, Distinguished Professor of Ballet, Indiana University-Bloomington
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