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Julie Kavanagh's Nureyev Biography


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#151 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:24 PM

The problem is, if one thinks descriptions of non-romantic sexual activity are "pernicious", even though these activities were a substantial part of RN's life, this is not a book to read.

Of course that "descriptions of non-romantic sexual activity" can be presented as a viable and legitimate way to make a point in a giving lecture-(let's say if reading to Jenna Jameson's "How to make love like a porn star").I totally agree. But for the purpose of the reader's better comprehension of Nureyev's sexual practices, i think she was totally pernicious in some passages...Should i quote...? (Don't know if it would be appropiate... :dunno: )

#152 Mel Johnson

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 06:34 PM

I don't think that's really necessary. Readers should keep in mind that Julie Kavanagh always seems to have a dig in for her biography subjects. I was rather put off by her mentioning that in all the time she was interviewing him, Sir Frederick Ashton never picked up the tab at dinner, or cooked for her himself. I found that rather small of her. Fercryinoutloud, he was 80 when she started their conversations. At that age, you are either going dutch or expect others to pick up your dinner, just out of respect for the venerable.

#153 kfw

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:16 PM

The problem is, if one thinks descriptions of non-romantic sexual activity are "pernicious", even though these activities were a substantial part of RN's life, this is not a book to read.

Good point. From the flap jacket: "Sex, as much as dancing, was a driving force for Nureyev . . . we [] see Nureyev's notorious homosexual history unfold . . . "

#154 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:43 PM

The problem is, if one thinks descriptions of non-romantic sexual activity are "pernicious", even though these activities were a substantial part of RN's life, this is not a book to read.

Good point. From the flap jacket: "Sex, as much as dancing, was a driving force for Nureyev . . . we [] see Nureyev's notorious homosexual history unfold . . . "

Good point. As K. assumes, we are certainly avid to know all about "Nureyev's notorious homosexual history". But what do i care about certain anonymous character from a leather club "whose favorite thing was..." completed with a full description of his sex practice of choice...?

#155 dirac

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:44 PM

I don't think that's really necessary. Readers should keep in mind that Julie Kavanagh always seems to have a dig in for her biography subjects. I was rather put off by her mentioning that in all the time she was interviewing him, Sir Frederick Ashton never picked up the tab at dinner, or cooked for her himself. I found that rather small of her. Fercryinoutloud, he was 80 when she started their conversations. At that age, you are either going dutch or expect others to pick up your dinner, just out of respect for the venerable.


Does old age exempt you from picking up the occasional tab? I imagine David Rockefeller does so despite his advanced years. And my late grandfather cooked until a stroke made it dangerous. Hardly constitutes 'having a dig in' for Ashton.

#156 Helene

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:04 PM

Nureyev also was someone who was notorious for not picking up tabs. I detect a pattern here...

#157 Alexandra

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:06 PM

I don't think that's really necessary. Readers should keep in mind that Julie Kavanagh always seems to have a dig in for her biography subjects. I was rather put off by her mentioning that in all the time she was interviewing him, Sir Frederick Ashton never picked up the tab at dinner, or cooked for her himself. I found that rather small of her. Fercryinoutloud, he was 80 when she started their conversations. At that age, you are either going dutch or expect others to pick up your dinner, just out of respect for the venerable.


Well said, Mel (raising tankard, prepaid).

Just catching up on this thread. Thanks for the mention of the review by John Percival in DanceView, bart. It's hard to write a biography of someone one didn't know, and whose early career one hasn't seen, and I was very glad to have Percival's comments.

#158 Mel Johnson

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 08:58 PM

I think Sir Fred was still somewhat in the George V period, when old codgers got a bit of a respectful break from buying dinner. He was hardly in the Rockefeller class, and seems to have been delighted when the Queen Mum came to visit and told him, "Oh, don't get up on my account, now, let's have our martinis together." Kavanagh seems to be a bit of a foodie!

#159 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:03 PM

I think Sir Fred was still somewhat in the George V period, when old codgers got a bit of a respectful break from buying dinner. He was hardly in the Rockefeller class, and seems to have been delighted when the Queen Mum came to visit and told him, "Oh, don't get up on my account, now, let's have our martinis together."

:dunno:

Kavanagh seems to be a bit of a foodie!


Yes, indeed...

#160 dirac

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:14 AM

I think Sir Fred was still somewhat in the George V period, when old codgers got a bit of a respectful break from buying dinner. He was hardly in the Rockefeller class, and seems to have been delighted when the Queen Mum came to visit and told him, "Oh, don't get up on my account, now, let's have our martinis together." Kavanagh seems to be a bit of a foodie!


I donít want to go too far off topic and this will be my last note on the subject, but I think even in the time of George V the elderly, at least those who were comfortably off and not indigent, bought the occasional dinner for friends, or at least offered to do so???? There is evidence from elsewhere that Ashton appreciated freebies. Perfectly human and understandable trait, but I don't see how mentioning it constitutes a particular animus against him.

#161 carbro

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:52 AM

At risk of further diverting, I wonder if Sir Fred simply assumed the publisher was footing the bill.

#162 bart

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 11:59 AM

Perfectly human and understandable trait, but I don't see how mentioning it constitutes a particular animus against him.

I agree. Although ... when you think about it and skim back over her books, as I have just done ... you do begin to notice a pattern of such material. You find a small criticism here -- a mild rebuke there -- a prominent raising of the eyebrows --a bitchy adjective placed in the middle of an otherwise inoffensive sentence -- etc. We've all met such people in real life. But, after a while it does become rather wearing.

At risk of further diverting, I wonder if Sir Fred simply assumed the publisher was footing the bill.

This was my thought, too. After all, Kavanagh needed Ashton more than he needed her. He could have paid, of course. Perhaps the enertainment value of her company didn't justify it it? :blush:

#163 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 09:22 PM

After all, Kavanagh needed Ashton more than he needed her.

Well said, bart.

#164 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 09:13 AM

It's time to add my two cents. I want to address something it seems to have "slipped" (:angry2:) Ms. Kavanagh's mind when writing the book: Rudolf Nureyev collaboration with Mme. Alonso and the great spanish soprano Victoria de los Angeles in the ballet "Poem of Love and the Sea", a beautiful work created by cuban choreographer Alberto Mendez specially designed to gather the three legends onstage in the First Festival of Music and Dance in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, 1990. Above is a link that shows chronological pics of Mme's artistic trayectory.; Scrolling down to 1990 there's a pic of both artists taking bows during a courtain call at the event. :flowers:

http://translate.goo...l=e...l=en&sa=G

#165 innopac

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Posted 03 February 2008 - 03:18 AM

I am puzzled why Henning Kronstam is not mentioned in the index of this book. Bruhn, Nureyev and Kronstam attended Volkova's classes etc -- surely Nureyev and Kronstam would have known each other at least on a professional level? I am wondering how they saw each other... if they had respect for each other... or if their approaches to ballet were too different.


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