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Advice on ballet books...

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Hello everyone!

I'm writing to ask if anyone has read these two books and whether they are worth buying.

Nureyev- The Life by Julie Kavanagh


Baryshnikov at Work- Alfred A.Knope

I just want to see what other fans think of these books before I buy them because they are quite expensive.

Thanks in advance!

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Welcome to BalletTalk, Anna P.

We have a very extensive thread here devoted to reviews and comments about Kavanagh's biography of Nureyev, as well as numerous other references to it in other of the forums. You can find these mentions by using the SEARCH button near the top of the page, toward the right side, but they may not give you the substance you seek.

As to Baryshnikov at Work, 4mrdncr cites it in our Favorite Photos thread, here, and again as a Favorite Book from Childhood here, and innopac mentions it in relation to the on-line posting of the Balanchine catalogue, here, but the book doesn't have a dedicated thread.

I have Baryshnikov at Work, and it does have lovely photos. The text -- his feelings about some of his roles -- is geared more to the general reader than the ballet devotee, and I was disappointed by its superficiality.

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I would strongly advise you to get the Diane Solway Nureyev biography as it is very factual and well written. A lot has been written about Nureyev and there are several books out there about him. Avoid the Soutar and Watson books about him though as they are total rubbish.

I agree. I would also recommend Diane Solway's more accurate, more respectul and without the dreadful salacious, unsupported material present in other biographies.

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My suggestion is "Three Years in the Kirov Theater," written by close friends of Rudi's in Russia. They knew him best; in fact, I think this is the best book written about him. It can be purchased from the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation, in Chicago. Price is $40.00. Contact them for more info - RudolfNureyevDanceFoundation.org

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Anna; another terrific book is "The Dancer Who Flew," by Linda Maybarduk - a former dancer with the National Ballet of Canada and a very close friend of Rudi's. You can get it from Amazon - the book details Rudi's involvement with the Nat'l. Ballet of Canada during the 1970's, as well as their friendship throughout the years. It is a wonderful memoir - no gossip/garbage - just very interesting info on Rudi and dance. There are many never-before-seen photos also. It's listed for "young readers" because it doesn't contain all the salacious sex info, but it really is for everyone. Good luck.

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