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 Post subject: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 05, 2003 3:14 pm 
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Gail Caldwell reviews "Dancer", a fictional version of Nureyev's life, in the Sunday Boston Globe:

Flight of the firebird

"The novel 'Dancer' traces the spectacle of Rudolf Nureyev's life, through defection and exile, artistry and excess"


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2003 3:03 am 
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Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review from The Telegraph.

Quote:
Beautiful, gifted and irresistible to both men and women, Rudolf Nureyev was ballet's first pin-up - the Beckham of the barre. He danced, lived and made love with an appetite and abandon that was both thrilling and terrifying. When he defected from Russia in 1961, he leapt to stardom and freedom, but became an outsider for the rest of his life. It is this, perhaps, that attracted Colum McCann to his story. McCann's previous novels, Songdogs (1996) and This Side of Brightness (1998), were both studies of the displaced and dispossessed.

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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Another review:

Quote:
A brilliant leap of imagination
Exuberant account of dancer Nureyev's life seems as true as biography


Reviewed by Sarah Coleman, SF Chronicle
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Dancer
By Colum McCann
METROPOLITAN; 356 PAGES; $26
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By any measure of radiance, dancer Rudolf Nureyev's star shone bright. Born to a dirt-poor family in a remote town in the Urals, he rose to fame with the Kirov Ballet, got the world's attention when he defected from the Soviet Union, became a sensation when he danced with Margot Fonteyn and drew endless publicity for his life of flamboyance and sexual excess.
<a href=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/01/12/RV119499.DTL target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
More:

Quote:
Too much fancy footwork in fictional life of Nureyev

Reviewed by Rusty Pray, Philadelphia Inquirer

Dancer
By Colum McCann
Metropolitan. 336 pp. $26

If Rudolf Nureyev had been a baseball player instead of a ballet dancer, he would have been Babe Ruth.
<a href=http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/entertainment/4925194.htm target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2003 12:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 04, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 12117
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
A review from Ellen Emry Heltzel in the Seattle Times:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com/cgi-bin/texis.cgi/web/vortex/display?slug=dancer12&date=20030112

Note for those within range of Seattle: the author will be reading at Elliott Bay Books (First Avenue South and South Main Street in Pioneer Square) on Thursday, February 6, 2003 at 7:30 p.m.

<small>[ 13 January 2003, 03:20 PM: Message edited by: Francis Timlin ]</small>


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 4:51 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
A dancer with feet of clay
Reviewed BY GREG EDEN for The Scotsman

DANCER
Colum McCann
Phoenix, £14.99

AT THE height of his fame, Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev owned seven homes around the world, took afternoon tea with JFK, partied with Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Andy Warhol and Marlon Brando, and appeared on the covers of Life and Time magazines in the same week. After one performance in Vienna, he received 87 curtain calls, and he was variously hailed as both the world’s most beautiful man, and the greatest exponent of his art since Nijinsky.

In Dancer, Irish writer Colum McCann combines historical fact with fiction to describe Nureyev’s journey from his impoverished roots in war-ravaged Siberia to the peak of a glittering career, and on to his decline and eventual death from Aids in 1993.

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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2003 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
USA Today weighs in on Dancer:

Quote:
Nureyev's story gets a novel turn
Jackie Pray, USA Today

Rudolf Nureyev slashed the Iron Curtain with his defection to Paris in 1961. He astonished audiences with powerful and raw re-interpretations of classic male dance roles and turned heads with flamboyant antics during the self-indulgent 1980s. Dance aficionados remember his choreography, his reshaping of dance and his conducting.
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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 9:57 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Eat your heart out, Billy Elliot
Colum McCann rings the changes as he tells Rudolf Nureyev's story through the eyes of others in Dancer. Reviewed by Rachel Cooke for The Observer

"Dancer", by Colum McCann (Weidenfeld & Nicholson £12.99, pp352)

As a sunject, Rudolf Nureyev has it all: what kind of writer could fail to fall in love with him? The come-on lips, the stormy eyes and, of course, a life so sensational that, beside it, today's tabloid melodramas seem positively humdrum. How's this for a story? The boy, a determined, intemperate creature, is born to Tatar stock and grows up in the kind of grinding poverty where half a potato is considered a feast. Before long, however, a fiery, unrestrained talent for dance emerges.

He studies at the Kirov and is adored across the Soviet Union. At the height of the Cold War, he defects and joins the jet set. His admirers include Jackie O and Princess Margaret, and his art collection is so vast it seems as if it might one day rival that of the Hermitage. Finally, in 1993, he dies from Aids, an illness he has kept secret. A light goes out.

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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2003 4:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
A review in the Miami Herald:

Quote:
Pirouetting through a world of hardship and hedonism

BY CONNIE OGLE, Miami Herald

This, then, is what he was born into: Hell unending on the Russian front.
<a href=http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/entertainment/books/5024865.htm target=_blank>More</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:24 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
The Globe and Mail has a review by Nikki Barrett in the January 25, 2003 edition. To access, enter

http://www.globeandmail.ca

and enter "dancer" in the seven day site search at the bottom of the page.


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 02, 2003 8:33 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Dancer by Colum McCann
Reviewed by HUGO BARNACLE for The Sunday Times
DANCER
by Colum McCann
(Weidenfeld £12.99 pp292)


Novels about the cult of celebrity are becoming quite common. Usually they centre on imaginary celebrities, but Dancer tackles the life story of a real person, the Russian ballet star and all-round jetsetter Rudolf Nureyev. Colum McCann uses multiple viewpoints to create the sense of a character who exists largely through the attention of others: his mother and sister, his first ballet teacher, his fellow pupils, his hangers-on, his housekeeper, his shoemaker and his greatest dance partner, Margot Fonteyn.

Sometimes they voice their own thoughts; sometimes an omniscient narrator does it for them. “Rudi” himself comes to the fore occasionally, both in conventional third-person sequences and in supposed extracts from his journals and notebooks, but we are still left with the suspicion that when he is alone there is nobody there.

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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 1:12 am 
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Posts: 943
Location: Santa Barbara, CA USA
Quote:
Nureyev: the real Lord of the Dance

Katie Schneider, The Oregonian

Rudolf Nureyev's fame was a glittering thing. In the world of ballet, Nureyev was revered both for his technique and his charisma. He entertained royalty and presidents, vacationed with Picasso, drank alongside Andy Warhol. At the time of his death in 1993, this man who came from impoverished beginnings in the Soviet Union was hailed as one of the greatest dancers of his generation.

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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2003 10:57 pm 
Anybody ever read that goofy thing by Monique van Vooren called "Night Sanctuary" - ? It was basically the same thing, but Dancer is somewhat better written. I am about halfway through this thing so you will be mercifully spared any opinions (reading it on the stairclimber at the gym...). At least Monique actually knew Rudik and they travelled in the same circle. Somehow I kinda wish McCann had left Rudy out of it and juxtaposed another character-type and taken it from there... I would be somewhat skeptical of reviewers' opinions who usually know diddly squat about dance...


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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2003 5:47 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Tough act to follow
By Clement Crisp for the Financial Times


Rudolf Nureyev, 10 years afterhis death, still haunts the public imagination. His name isnewsworthy. Auction houses sell his possessions; fans buy anything - from workaday academic paintings of male nudes to his old shoes - and feel that he still touches their lives. His ballet productions continue to command huge audiences. His image - hair, nostrils, the scarred upper lip, the body in taut academic pose - is still bright in print and film. Biographies - variously awful, opportunistic, cheapjack - have unrolled the narrative of defection, talent, ceaseless performances, passion. And now, fiction: not that the other scribblings have seemed to me to explain the facts of his life or career with any distinction or biographical likelihood.

With Colum McCann's quasi-fictional Dancer we have a bizarre assemblage of incidents from the life of a dancer, Rudik, told by a series of narrators, who detail in selective and gritty fashion Nureyev's history as the author re-invents it, while in the process revealing something of their own lives and their own despairs.

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 Post subject: Re: Book Review: Dancer (re Nureyev)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 16, 2003 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
In the San Jose Mercury News:

Quote:
Difficult, charismatic Nureyev fills novel

By Gail Caldwell
Boston Globe

Violent grace in motion, he first danced before an audience when he was 5 or 6, performing for soldiers who'd been wounded on the Russian front. They paid him in sugar cubes. A couple of decades later, in Paris, onlookers were throwing flowers and women's underwear at his feet -- and on one occasion, broken glass, to protest his defection from the motherland. <a href=http://www.bayarea.com/mld/bayarea/5194920.htm target=_blank>more</a>


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