Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rudolf Nureyev

"...because of Nureyev’s late training, his style was unrefined. In the Russian films his shoulders are hunched, his landings are heavy, and his hands and feet flap. But what he lacked in polish he made up for in intensity. He launched himself into fabulous bravura steps; he breathed fire.

Most ballet dancers aim for a look of effortlessness. Nureyev did the opposite. 'He comes onto the stage as if into an arena,' his friend Violette Verdy later said. 'Is he going to be eaten by the lion or not?'"

The text is from this New Yorker review of a probably inflammatory biography of Nureyev written twenty-so years after his death. "...As a friend of his put it, he did things that are 'absolutely out of our habits.' He dropped ballerinas on the floor, threw dinner plates at people, and blew his nose on hotel towels." These are very certainly the kinds of details that make you want to read about someone. It's the dancing that makes you want to, well, everything else.

1 comment:

manualcamera said...

aren't lustings-of-already-dead-people frustrating? i've got an immense crush on carlos kleiber, circa the mid 1960s. you should find videos of him in rehearsal on youtube; the forearms and somehow-sexy german is what slays me.

thank you for nureyev. mm.