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Friday, 11 September 2015

Colum McCann -Dancer

book review written and read live on the bookshow by Maggie Perkovic
In the biting Soviet winter of 1941, a small boy spins on the earthen floor of a shack.
His shabby boots are kicking up dust, he hardly knows why he is doing it, something
is making him perform like this, a compulsion from inside of him, his spirit?
The story of Rudolf Nureyev who took the world by storm and the headlines by storm
when he defected to the West and abandoned his parents and the country that gave him
birth is told here in fairly graphic detail, his peasant upbringing, his early coaching by
retired dancers and how bit by bit he made his way to become the world's leading man
of the dance. After the gentle world of ballet Nureyev took a new approach, lively,
dynamic and exciting .
His partnership with Margot Fonteyn is legendary and his wild behaviour in high places
also well known. His tragic end is not documented here.
What I found sad was the fact all those connected with him, either relations or teachers
were treated with suspicions by the Russian Government and he never saw his parents
again after he left. He was referred to as a traitor by the authorities who never allowed
his parents to leave Russia to join him in the free West.
Well researched but a bit graphic in parts!!!
Maggie Perkovic.

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