Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Life Behind the Metaphor reviewed by Library Journal!

We just saw that, in September, Library Journal reviewed our book of photographs of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev, Life Behind the Metaphor:

Rudolf Nureyev leaps off the pages in this stunning collection of 80 black-and-white photographs from a 15-year period during which he toured the United States with the Dutch National Ballet (DNB). Drawn from the archives of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, the pictures chronicle the legendary dancer in such ballets as Le Corsaire, Four Schumann Pieces, and Afternoon of a Faun. Van Dantzig (former artistic director, DNB) allowed Urban to photograph Nureyev and company members on and off stage, and because Nureyev's contracts prohibited performance photos, many of these images are not only unique but also rare. In this coffee-table art book, the photographs are printed on archival-quality paper, and the text includes comments from van Dantzig, Nureyev, and Urban. Anyone who saw Nureyev dance will relive the experience with these photographs; those who didn't will wish they had. Highly recommended for dance and performing arts collections. [There will be an exhibit of selected materials from the NYPL collection at Lincoln Center this fall.—Ed.]—Carolyn M. Mulac, Chicago P.L.

Life Behind the Metaphor featured in Time Out New York's Gift Guide!

Time Out New York has featured our book, Life Behind the Metaphor, in the Dance section of its holiday Gift Guide. Go check out the mention, and see what other great gifts they recommend for the dance enthusiast on your shopping list!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

What do YOU think?

Now that Life Behind the Metaphor has been released, we'd love to hear from you about your reactions to the book, and your reminiscences of seeing Nureyev dance. Please, comment below!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Blog mention at the Stanford School of Business

Jan Driscoll posted a nice mention of Roger and Life Behind the Metaphor over at the Stanford School of Business's Jackson Library Blog. Go check it out!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Le Corsaire

Thanks to blogger Lula Bites for this YouTube clip of Nureyev's solo from Le Corsaire (taken from the Bridcut BBC/PBS documentary, I think):

UPDATE: Lula notes that, "I think, but I am not sure, that this is an excerpt from An evening with the Royal Ballet, which was probably integrated in another documentary on Nureyev."

Thursday, October 4, 2007

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Free preview chapter of Life Behind the Metaphor

For those of you who would like to know more about our new book of Nureyev photographs, Life Behind the Metaphor, you can now download a sample PDF of an entire book chapter.

The chapter, "The Barre," details the ritual and work of professional dancers. Choreographer Rudi van Dantzig writes:

In America, in China, in Holland, In Russia, in Australia; about ten o’clock in the morning all over the world, dancers take their positions at the barre, ready for another dancing day.

From there, hard and strenuous working hours begin. First, there is half an hour barre, then an hour center exercises: adagio movements, turns, balances, small jumps, beats, big jumps, and pointe-work.

When class is finished the dancers usually have a fifteen minute break for coffee, a giggle, or for using the empty studio space to go over some steps for themselves.

People who don’t know anything of a dancer’s profession usually are exhausted from just watching a class, and are astonished to learn that this is just the preparation for the real work, which, if there is no performance, will go on until five or six o’clock. The real work means rehearsing and “cleaning” of old ballets in the repertoire, and the constructing, the searching and the experimenting with a choreographer on a new piece, the next ballet-to-be.

But at the barre it all begins...
Download the sample chapter here. And stay tuned: New, exclusive online chapters—ones available not even in the print edition of the book—will appear soon!

Nureyev book, Life Behind the Metaphor, now on sale!

Roger Urban's book of rare photographs of ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev, Life Behind the Metaphor, is officially on sale, beginning this week! Visit to order your copy today.

The vital information from the web site:

Featuring more than 80 exquisite duotone photographs, and printed using a stochastic process and inks developed for Ansel Adams, this unique limited-edition collector’s item may be the finest book of Nureyev photography ever created. These previously unpublished photos of Nureyev in performance and behind the scenes reveal the majesty of this master dancer as never before.

With text on the creative process of ballet written by Dutch National Ballet Artistic Director and Choreographer Rudi Van Dantzig; a preface by Madeleine Nichols, Curator Emerita of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts; and a concluding essay on photography and dance by Richard Benson, Dean of Yale University School of Art, Life Behind the Metaphor is the perfect gift for any ballet enthusiast.

As a special bonus, the first printing of Life Behind the Metaphor includes a deluxe lithograph, signed by the photographer and suitable for framing.

For your part in supporting our donation of rare photographic materials to the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, $30 of the purchase price of this book is tax-deductible.

(By the way—it makes a great gift for dance teachers and ballet students.)

Nureyev and the Red Sox

While reading some commentary about Joan Acocella's review of Nureyev: The Life, I came across this (older) link to a blog post that muses on Nureyev's ability to "pause" in mid-air, and its similarity to a catch made by Boston Red Sox Center Fielder Coco Crisp.

Robert Greskovic to interview Julie Kavanagh at Lincoln Center

This Saturday, October 6, at 3PM, the New York Public Library will host the program, "Nureyev and Shakespeare: Julie Kavanagh in Conversation with Robert Greskovic." (Greskovic, of course, is the noted Wall Street Journal ballet critic who commented that Roger Urban's shots were "the most clear in-performance photographs of Nureyev I have seen to date.")

The NYPL says that the free event "will feature screened excerpts of Nureyev in ballets of works adapted from Shakespeare."

The event will be held at the Bruno Walter Auditorium, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, 40 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023-7498.

Is Ballet "mindless?"

Part of John Carey's recent review of Julie Kavanagh's Nureyev: The Life for The Times has sparked a tiny tempest. In struggling to explain why he found Kavanagh's book wanting, Carey writes the following:

It should be a joy to read. So why is it not? The fault lies in [Kavanagh's] subject. Describing ballet in words comes down, essentially, to long, precise accounts of where people put their arms and legs, and this has severe limitations as reading matter. Further, ballet is mindless compared to other arts – as mindless as, say, football – and this restricts what can be written about it. Despite its fusillade of detail and its grand narrative sweep, Kavanagh’s book does not contain, in all its 800 pages, a single idea – not, that is, a single new or interesting thought about the physical or metaphysical universe. It is impossible to imagine the biography of a novelist or a painter or a scientist about which this could be said. But with ballet it is difficult to avoid, and the consequence is, intellectually, a howling wilderness, swept by gales of trivia, scandal and society gossip.
Writer and reviewer John Appleyard posted this on his blog in response:
John Carey says a very odd thing in his review of a biography of Rudolph Nureyev - 'Ballet is mindless compared to other arts - as mindless as, say, football - and this restricts what can be written about it.' It's odd because I don't know what he means by 'mindless'. A great deal of mind goes into football and an incredible amount, some of it quite lucid, can be written about it. Much more mind would seem to go into ballet and much more can be written, most of it very lucid, about it. Perhaps he means ballet provides a more visceral hit than most arts. But that isn't true either. All art has to be, to some extent, visceral to work at all. Perhaps he means ballet is very abstract. But some is and some isn't and, anyway, abstraction is easily written about. I give up. Can somebody tell me what Carey is on about?
To argue that ballet does not require an extraordinary amount of mental effort and constant analysis of technique and performance to achieve even a rudimentary level of proficiency (let alone world-class status) seems like a foolhardy proposition. So let's assume Carey doesn't mean that.

Setting that aside, then, it seems to me that the crux of Carey's point is this comment:
Kavanagh’s book does not contain, in all its 800 pages, a single idea – not, that is, a single new or interesting thought about the physical or metaphysical universe. It is impossible to imagine the biography of a novelist or a painter or a scientist about which this could be said.
Not to defend Kavanagh's writing (I haven't read her book, yet), but is not the idea that Nureyev's life embodies—the idea that excellence and transcendence can only be achieved through total devotion to one's art, despite the consequences to one's personality and personal relationships—an interesting thought? It worked for Faust.

Thanks to Brendan McCarthy for links and commentary.


Carey is not alone in his thoughts about the "mindlessness" of ballet. Just spotted this in Joan Acocella' review in The New Yorker:
It seems to me, for example, that there was a connection between Nureyev’s lack of moral feeling and the general unintelligence of his work—both his performances and his productions. And just as he had an entourage of yes-men, or yes-women, standing between him and the world, so there was a huge cliché machine surrounding him, an endless flow of effusions about how he was a lion, a tiger, a wild thing. Nureyev, and the “Nureyev phenomenon,” did not appeal to our higher instincts.
Acocella, at least, seems to confine the "mindless" judgments to the work of Nureyev alone, and not to all ballet.

Nureyev, the bridge between east and west, classical and modern

Norman Lebrecht reflects both on Nureyev's part in creating the template for modern celebrity, and on his artistic contributions, in "How Nureyev played the fame game," over at La Scena Musicale. I liked this observation:

A repository of Russian traditions with an elephantine memory for steps, Nureyev reached out to choreographers in Amsterdam and New York, acting as the single most important bridge between classical and modern dance.

Bucketful of Nureyev and Kavangah

There has been a pile of coverage—and excerpts—about Julie Kavanagh's Nureyev: The Life. Here's a lengthy rundown:


  • "Nureyev in love:" The biographer of the world’s greatest dancer reveals that beautiful women – not men – were his first passion (The Times)

  • "Did Rudolf Nureyev and Margot Fonteyn have an affair or didn’t they?" From the start of their hot stage partnership rumours were rife that Nureyev and Fonteyn were having an affair. It is a question that still divides their friends (The Times)

  • "The purest and the dirtiest" From Shakespeare, to the Russian poets, to JD Salinger, Rudolf Nureyev was a passionate reader. But no one inspired the dancer more than his Romantic hero and alter ego, Byron (The Guardian)

  • John Carey (The Times)

  • Peter Conrad (The Observer) "The beast within the beauty:" Julie Kavanagh's Rudolf Nureyev reveals a peerless dancer and entrancing character but also a deeply unattractive man

  • Lynn Barber (The Telegraph) "Very hot and very rare" [en entendre referring to how Nureyev liked his steaks]

  • Joan Acocella (The New Yorker) "Wild Thing:" Rudolf Nureyev, onstage and off.

  • Tobi Tobias (Bloomberg) "Nureyev, Passionate Rebel With Great Legs, Found Fame in Exile"

  • Joel Lobenthal (New York Sun) "What Made Rudolf Nureyev"

  • Simon Callow (The Guardian) "James Dean in tights:" Julie Kavanagh's Rudolf Nureyev reveals a supreme commitment to art that is an example to us all [Here's Callow's ending to the piece:]
    Kavanagh never apologises for him, nor does she try to extenuate his frequently brutal behaviour. What she makes clear is that these were flaws in a titanic human being who never ceased to strain every fibre of his being to serve dance. For him there was never any comfort zone. To be a dancer, he said, was "sacrificial work". Kavanagh's book, apart from its comprehensive and compulsively readable account of Nureyev's life and art, and its exceptional lucidity about the history and technique of dance, is an important wake-up call to the lily-livered rest of us: this is what performing can be, but only if we give it everything. Nothing less will do.
Whew! Exhausted yet? As blogger Gayle Alstrom noted (about Joan Acocella's review):
Reading this wonderful extensive review that seemingly tells as much about Nureyev that any normal person would want or need to know, I can't see any reason to read the book...
With all the coverage, we may be in some Nureyev: The Life overload.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Roger Urban visits the NYPL ... and brings copies of Life Behind the Metaphor

Last week, Roger Urban made a trip from Boston to New York City to visit the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. With him, he brought several advance copies of Life Behind the Metaphor. Acme Bookbinding was kind enough to speedily and expertly hand-bind these copies (ahead of the main batch) just for this occasion.

The books were extremely well-received. Visiting supporters of the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection stopped by to view the copies—as well as a few large-format prints of the photographs of Nureyev in action—and oohed and aahed over them. Roger later reflected, "I realize that I don't have the words to explain to people just how good the quality of this book is. If they've never seen a book of this quality, they don't understand what I'm talking about—until they hold a copy in their hands."

Soon! Life Behind the Metaphor is set to be released on October 1. You can pre-order now at

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Life Behind the Metaphor: PUBLISHING UPDATE

News on the production of our deluxe book of never-before-seen photographs of Rudolf Nureyev:

Life Behind the Metaphor has been printed!

The pages have come off the presses at Dual Graphics and have been shipped from California to Massachusetts by FedEx Freight, who generously donated the freight shipping costs for this important project.

Next stop is Acme Bookbinding, where the raw sheets will be trimmed, folded and gathered, and then bound, and the dust jackets folded and slipped on. Books almost ready ...!

Saturday, September 1, 2007

"Nureyev: The Russian Years" postgame wrap-up

We've now read through just about every newspaper review of PBS's "Nureyev: The Russian Years," and just about every base seems to have been covered. Personal reactions to add to the pile:

Nureyev is hypnotic. It sounds like a terrible cliché, but it's true. When you see him in the opening moments of the film, as the press asks questions and he says nothing, or when you listen to him speak, years later, about his early life, there's a mesmerizing quality that makes it difficult to look away.

It's fascinating to see how dramatically his technique improved. The early films do show some stunning feats—such as his machine-gun execution of pirouettes in "Le Corsaire"—but they also show the sometimes awkward lack of poise of a young dancer (or perhaps simply a young man). But the films of his post-defection work show no flaws. This level of polish made photographer Roger Urban's work in Life Behind the Metaphor much easier—every frame was guaranteed to be beautiful. As Richard Benson, Dean of the Yale University School of Art, says in his essay in the book: "...the dancer makes the movement so that when well done every part is right; in theory we could stop it anywhere and see perfection."

And finally, a link to a letter from a viewer of the documentary that appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, reflecting upon Nureyev in action:

I find it hard to explain what Nureyev did that was so spellbinding. He certainly defied gravity in an explosive way, but perhaps the most striking memory I have is of him circling the stage as Romeo, below Fonteyn's Juliet, up on her balcony. The image of the way he carried himself - the animal grace and the weightedness of him (unlike many ballet dancers) - as he ran, with his cape flying behind him and his aquiline features barely picked out by the dim stage lighting - is seared on my brain. It is something so beautiful - so fleeting and mysterious - you wish you had words to describe it so others can understand what you mean ... but words fail miserably.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

"Nureyev: The Russian Years" Pregame Part 2

Another tidbit, thanks to the blog of NPT 8 in Nashville—a preview clip of the documentary:

"Nureyev: The Russian Years" Pregame

We're finding out more and more about the documentary, "Nureyev: The Russian Years," every minute.

First, the documentary's producer, John Bridcut, stopped by our blog to clear up the confusion over the PBS/BBC versions of this project:

As the producer of the Nureyev documentary, I should make clear that the BBC, which commissioned the film in the first place, decided to use the title "NUREYEV: From Russia with Love". It will be screened on BBC2 on September 29th in the UK, and on the BBC HD channel. PBS is broadcasting a slightly shorter version of the film (six minutes is the difference), and elected to call it "NUREYEV: The Russian Years". Broadcasters often choose different titles, according to what they believe will resonate with their particular audiences.

Then, from Tobi Tobias' Voice of Dance review, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" (also available at her own blog), we learn some more about the source of the earliest footage of Nureyev:

Much of this early footage was shot by Teja Kremke, an East German ballet student who became Nureyev’s lover when they were both young. (Julie Kavanagh, whose exhaustive biography, "Nureyev: The Life," will be published by Pantheon next month, tracked it down, and served as consultant to Bridcut’s project.)

I hadn't realized that Kavanagh was so involved in the documentary, as well. I'm sure all of these things will probably be as clear as day once we see the documentary tonight.

From the New York Times' article, "The Nureyev Nobody Knows, Young and Wild," we learn that this, earliest, film footage is of Le Corsaire, no less (a Nureyev role that we obviously love):

The earliest known film of Nureyev dancing was made at a student competition in Moscow in 1958. At 20, dressed only in white harem pants, a gold headband and regulation soft slippers, he tears off a solo from “Le Corsaire.” The leaps and spins come thick and fast, embellished with Arabian Nights flourishes that go well with his Tatar allure. Yet the most seductive moment of the dance comes between the circus tricks, with a little nothing of a step called pas balancé. A sweep of the leg here, an echoing sweep of the arm there, and repeat, to the other side — that was all, then straight into the next cyclone of a pirouette. But that throwaway transition was Nureyev’s invitation to join him in his private world of fantasy. Technically, the narrator of the Bridcut film points out, Nureyev’s performance at the competition was “far from perfect.” But already the imprint of his personality was unmistakable.

Haven't had enough? There's still more coverage over at the Buffalo News, from Karyn Collins at Asbury Park Press, and from the Rocky Mountain News.

Monday, August 20, 2007

David Gardner workshop August 25 and 26

This may already be sold out, but if not, folks in California may want to check out Life Behind the Metaphor contributor David Gardner (he's overseeing the press run and high-quality duotone stochastic process for the book) at the Center for Photographic Art this weekend, August 25 and 26. He's running a workshop with Chris Pichler entitled, “Publishing a Book: from Concept to Production."

The workshop will focus on photography book publishing and printing. Chris Pichler, founder and publisher of Nazraeli Press, will discuss methods of putting together book dummies, submitting proposals to publishers, the relationship of images and words, and various types of books and bindings. David Gardner will discuss technical aspects of papers, printing and binding. Both Chris and David will be happy to meet with participants one-on-one to look at their work in the context of book publishing, and answer any questions about publishing and printing the participants may have.

Thanks to Mary Virginia Swanson for her tip-off about the event—and about the YouTube video of David Gardner discussing what it was like to print books for Ansel Adams.

"Nureyev: The Russian Years" on PBS August 29

PBS's Great Performances series will detail the very beginning of Rudolf Nureyev's career in "Nureyev: The Russian Years," which begins airing on August 29. We first spotted news of it at the Arts and Dance blog of Laura Bleiberg at the Orange County Register. See more at the New Yorker's web site, which notes that

... in the old performance footage, some of it never released before, we can see the beginnings of his very individual style, notably the hyperstretched torso. (This was considered effeminate when he introduced it. Now it is standard.)

... The program also ... makes his defection as exciting as a police drama.

There's also the unflinching (sometimes brutal) story from LA Times writer Lewis Segal, entitled, "Nureyev: dancing around the lies." It starts off with:

Rudolf Nureyev lied about his life so often, to so many people, that any responsible biographer or documentarian must virtually cross-examine every living source to separate his extravagant fictions from bottom-line certainties.

No matter how one may feel about Nureyev the man, however, Segal does wrap up with writer-producer John Bridcut's observation about Nureyev's enduring ability to captivate and inspire people:

During his phone interview, Bridcut recalled that a lot of people working on "Nureyev: The Russian Years" approached him, "people who had no interest in ballet at all, like those who helped me edit the film and handled the sound, that sort of thing. And they said they were completely captivated by this man, particularly by that footage of him dancing in Moscow in 1958 [age 20], the first footage there is of him.

"They thought ballet meant nothing to them, and suddenly they were spellbound by him. And this is what all the people who saw him in the flesh still say. I found this really interesting -- that even now he remains a door into the world of ballet for people who are not otherwise drawn to it."

This is something we have discovered ourselves here at the Nureyev Legacy Project.

A curious footnote: Apparently, BBC HD is running the same documentary (beginning September 19), but calling it "Nureyev: From Russia with Love." What are we to make of the title change? Does PBS think U.S. audiences won't recognize the James Bond reference? Or do they think such a title would be too cavalier for such a severe figure as Nureyev? Or did the BBC "sex up" the title for the HD audience, which at this point likely has a larger proportion of football fans (both kinds) and action-movie aficionados than it does ballet enthusiasts?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

2007 Is “The Year Of Nureyev” in the Publishing World

Three new books on Rudolf Nureyev will make 2007 a special year for commemorating the ballet great: Nureyev: The Life, a biography by Julie Kavanagh; an English translation of Trail of a Comet, choreographer Rudi van Dantzig’s book of reminiscences about Nureyev; and Life Behind the Metaphor, a book of rare photographs of Nureyev.

One year shy of his 70th birthday, the late ballet legend Rudolf Nureyev is set to be celebrated with a serendipitous occurrence: The publication of three major, complementary books on his life and art. Julie Kavanagh puts forth a comprehensive, 750-plus-page biography of the dancer in Nureyev: The Life. Famed choreographer and dance director Rudi van Dantzig shares personal reminiscences of his friend in Trail of a Comet, the first English translation of his book Het Spoor van Een Komeet. And photographer Roger Urban presents to the public for the first time his collection of photographs of Nureyev in performance and behind the scenes with Life Behind the Metaphor, a book of 80 black-and-white photographs taken during Nureyev’s 1978 tour of the United States. While Nureyev: The Life and Trail of a Comet tell the story of Nureyev’s legacy, Life Behind the Metaphor shows the great dancer in all his glory, in photographs that ballet lovers have never seen before.

The fortunate timing of these three very different titles should give ballet aficionados plenty to chew on. From Kavanagh, devotees will find a broad and deep look at Nureyev’s life and art, and from van Dantzig, an intimate look at the man who was his friend and artistic collaborator. But fans of Rudolf Nureyev will be particularly delighted with Life Behind the Metaphor, a previously unseen glimpse of his fantastic physical feats while in performance and his intensity, dedication, and humor backstage, preserved in a collection of 80 rare black-and-white photographs.

Life Behind the Metaphor will be available in October 2007 online at, and at select museum shops and art booksellers.

Nureyev, in His Own Words

The new book, Life Behind the Metaphor, presents a side of Rudolf Nureyev that ballet enthusiasts have never seen or read before: The ballet great in his own words and in his own selection of rare, in-performance photographs.

During the summer of 1978, Rudolf Nureyev toured America with the Dutch National Ballet. Remembering that time, Nureyev recalled, “I was still delectable; the public was quite for me; I felt I could present anything.” Nureyev performed Four Schumann Pieces and the pas de deux from Le Corsaire along with two ballets newly created especially for him: About a Dark House and a modern adaptation of Afternoon of a Faun. During this tour, Rudi van Dantzig, Artistic Director of the Dutch National Ballet, created many unique photo opportunities for this book’s creator, Roger Urban. He was given access to performances, rehearsals, classes, warm-ups and other behind-the-scenes situations.

As they toured the United States, Roger Urban had many relaxed and candid conversations with Rudolf Nureyev. From these interviews came the rare, introspective statements that are recorded in Life Behind the Metaphor. Robert Greskovic, the Wall Street Journal ballet expert, stated, “You’ve amassed the biggest concentration of Nureyev quotes I have so far seen in one place.” Nureyev himself also personally reviewed and selected the photographs that he felt best represented his art, his technique, and his behind-the-scenes work process.

NYPL Given Treasure Trove of Ballet Photos and Artifacts

Photographer Roger Urban, who documented Rudolf Nureyev’s 1978 US tour with the Dutch National Ballet, donated the complete collection of his photographs, along with original set and costume sketches from the tour, to the Library’s Dance Division. These never-before-seen photographs, which will also be released to the public in a new book, Life Behind the Metaphor, include the only personally authorized in-performance images of Nureyev during a 15-year period.

The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ Jerome Robbins Dance Division has acquired a collection of never-before-seen, in-performance and behind-the-scenes photographs of ballet great Rudolf Nureyev. “I first saw these photographs just weeks before my retirement as curator of the New York Public Library Dance Division and immediately knew I wanted them for our collection,” says Curator Emerita Madeleine Nichols. “You can imagine my excitement, as I felt the movement behind the pictures, and relived the moment of first seeing Nureyev dance.” The Dance Division will display, from the donated collection, a set of limited-edition, museum-size platinum prints at New York City’s Lincoln Center in the fall of 2007. And a new book containing select photographs, Life Behind the Metaphor, will be published in October.

Rare, Unseen Photos of Nureyev

A new coffee-table book from the archives of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts offers readers a fresh look at 20th-century ballet icon Rudolf Nureyev. When Rudolf Nureyev danced, “He commanded vast admiration,” wrote Clement Crisp. “He warmed the stage, the audience, his fellow dancers, the art of ballet itself, and this was his genius.” But for a man who was such a celebrated dancer, relatively few photographs and personal recollections of Nureyev and his art exist. “Most people think that there are many photographs of Rudolf Nureyev in performance,” says Roger Urban, the photographer of the new book, Life Behind the Metaphor. “But because his contracts prohibited photography, such photographs are in fact quite rare.” Life Behind the Metaphor contains the only personally authorized in-performance photos of Rudolf Nureyev during a 15-year period. Several of these ballets with Rudolf Nureyev are not recorded anywhere else.