Apparently, I've been living my life in a cultural vacuum because until I began reading Dancer by Colum McCann, I had no idea who Rudolf Nureyev was. I decided to read the book because McCann's Let the Great World Spin (LGWS) is absolutely fantastic and I was curious about his other work. Because I was more interested in the intricacies of how the novel was written, I initially paid little attention to the subject matter.
Several chapters in, I asked my husband how to say 'Nureyev' and exactly who he was. He knows everything. Indeed, he did know that he was a Russian ballet dancer and he did know how to pronounce his name. I continued reading, with every intention to Google Nureyev as when I got the chance. As you may know, my life is a delightful whirlwind of never-ending activity, therefore I never got around to looking him up. I just kept reading and the book was good. It's very different in tone and style than LGWS, but thoroughly enjoyable.
I'm on the last chapter of this book, and have FINALLY Google'd this MF'er. No big deal. Only the most enduring legend of 20th century dance. Infamous. Controversial. Talented. Passionate. Volatile. Defector. What an interesting person! I just spent some time watching videos of him dancing. It's powerful and beautiful at the same time. Even if ballet isn't your thing, it's worth a look. He was born in 1938 and died of AIDS in 1993.
"Lights go out and I die, tomorrow I will be born again, tomorrow I will dance again..."
I should mention that while the book is loosely based on Rudolf's life, it's fiction.
And this one is just funny. I like it that he has a sense of humor.