From the moment Rudolf Nureyev defected to the West in 1961 he was a star. His defection propelled him into the headlines; his talent and his inspiration kept him there. Not since Nijinsky had the image of the male dancer projected such animal magnetism, powerhouse sensuality and ardent romanticism. Born on the eve of World War II, Nureyev trained at the Bolshoi where his talent was swiftly identified. From his defection to the West at the height of the Cold War until his death 40 years later he lived his life on a sweeping and grand scale and always in front of an audience. He was one of the first pop icons of the sixties and he reached beyond the dance public to capture the imagination of the world at large. In Britain, where he lived and worked for a decade he inspired the Royal Ballet and in particular its principal ballerina, Margot Fonteyn, to new heights. His very public decline from AIDS was tragic. Nureyev: His Biography is destined to become the standard biography of the dancer.
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