Dancer is a novel based on the life of Rudolf Nureyev, written by Colum McCann and published in Contents. 1 Background; 2 Plot and structure; 3 Critical. Novelist Colum McCann’s Dancer is the erotically charged story of the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev as told through the cast of those who knew him: there is. From the acclaimed author of This Side of Brightness, the epic life and times of Rudolf Nureyev, reimagined in a dazzlingly inventive masterpiece-published to.

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Dancer by Colum McCann

Dancer is a novel based on the life of Rudolf Nureyevwritten by Colum McCann and published in Nureyev was a Russian ballet dancer who achieved fame with the Kirov Ballet before defecting to the West in and subsequently became “one of the most written-about dancers in history”. McCann, born in Ireland, had previously written novels, short stories and newspaper reports while travelling and teaching in the United States and Cllum some of his work was set in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Inalready having “a growing reputation as an international writer”, [2] he moved to Russia where he researched his novel based on Nureyev while teaching English. It covers his good fortune in gaining the chance to study ballet in his home country, his success there and then his life, work, loves and excesses as a celebrity after his defection to the West. The story is told partly through brief journal entries portrayed as written by Nureyev himself, and partly through narration by characters who knew him.


The latter include his childhood dance instructor, his sister, his dance partner, and his maid. These each have their own perspectives and concerns, with sub-plots that add complexity and emotion to the story. Reviewing the book for the GuardianJudith Mackrell said that it provides “a sharp, enthralling and sometimes scarily acute mmccann to the reams of generalised gush that mccqnn been written about Nureyev”, and that “any reader with a reasonable knowledge of Nureyev’s life will follow in its tracks with serious pleasure”.

She suggested that for those who do not already know the facts of the story, frustration may be caused by McCann’s approach of highlighting snapshots of brilliance and hectic energy while not elaborating sufficiently on the details of the historical events. Possible frustration was also mentioned by Suzy Hansen’s review in Salonin that the book does not give a clear picture of just what it is that makes Nureyev tick.

Dancer Interview – Colum McCann

Despite this, and some lengthy passages that she felt added little to the story, Hansen concluded that McCann achieves a beautifully imagined picture of the effects of a genius on those around him, without mccnan to define the exact nature of the genius himself.


Lisa Allardice, writing in the Daily Telegraphfound Dancer too long and “unchoreographed in places”, but praised it for its imaginative detail, its effective and absorbing writing style, and its success in capturing the spirit of its subject.

Terry Teachout’s review in the Baltimore Sun described the book as “an engrossing portrait” and said that its portrayal of Nureyev was “entirely convincing”; Teachout also praised the colu, research that McCann had undertaken to make the many different aspects dolum the story entirely authentic in their portrayals.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Dancer First hardcover edition Retrieved 11 January Colum McCann talks about reimagining the past in his latest novel, ‘TransAtlantic ‘ “.

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