Nureyev

Nureyev - Julie Kavanagh I always have trouble getting through the end of a biography, for obvious reasons, but this one more than most because of the sadness and indignity of Nureyev's later years. Not that he was, by all accounts, a man one would want to have dinner with, but the very stubbornness, selfishness and fire in his personality which made him such an accomplished dancer (or helped to) also appear to have made the end of his too-short life most unpleasant. Possibly those close to him may have thought the early death was a bit of a mercy, given that he could no longer dance.

I've read several biographies of Nureyev now, from the ponderous to the ephemeral to the scandalous, and I liked this one best; it seemed well-balanced as to sources and presentation. I particularly liked the fact that Baryshnikov seems to have cooperated fully with the author, and the relationship between those two - personal, but also professional - has been an intriguing and unanswered question until now.

Definitely a must-read for anybody interested in the golden age of male ballet dancers.