Rudolf Nureyev: The Life

Author(s): Julie Kavanagh

Biography / Memoir

Born on a train in Stalin's Russia, Rudolf Nureyev was ballet's first pop icon. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement - both on and off stage. Nureyev's achievements and conquests became legendary: he rose out of Tatar peasant poverty to become the Kirov's thrilling maverick star; slept with his beloved mentor's wife; defected to the West in l961; sparked Rudimania across the globe; gave his rabid sexuality full reign; established the most rhapsodic partnership in dance history with the middle-aged Margot Fonteyn; reinvented male technique; gatecrashed modern dance; moulded new stars; and, staged Russia's unknown ballet masterpieces in the West. Julie Kavanagh's uncompromising and magnificent biography, ten years in the making, is a brilliant tribute to a superstar the world can never forget.


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Commended for Samuel Johnson Prize 2008. Shortlisted for Whitbread Book Awards: Biography Category 2007 and Theatre Book Prize 2007.

Magnificent...comprehensive and compulsively readable The Guardian The definitive biography, a gripping account of an extraordinary life Telegraph She writes with flair and abundance The Sunday Times Undoubtedly the definitive biography. Rudolf Nureyev, superstar, emerges in all his terribly flawed glory Sunday Telegraph

Julie Kavanagh trained as a dancer at the Royal Ballet School, and is the author of Secret Muses: The Life of Frederick Ashton. She has worked as ballet critic of The Spectator; Arts Editor of Harpers & Queen; and London Editor of Vanity Fair and The New Yorker. She is married to the ex-Royal Ballet dancer, now dance film maker, Ross MacGibbon, and has two sons.

General Fields

  • : 9780141029696
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : June 2008
  • : 204mm X 129mm X 37mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 3 x 16 page insets b&w photos
  • : Biography & autobiography: film, television, music, theatre; Ballet
  • : 848
  • : 792.8028092
  • : 1
  • : Paperback
  • : Julie Kavanagh