Publication details [#10961]

van Dantzig, Rudi, Rudolf Nureyev and Roger Urban. 2007. Life Behind the Metaphor: Rudolf Nureyev and the Dutch National Ballet. Lexington, Mass.: Nureyev Legacy Project. 67 pp.
Publication type
Book – monograph
Publication language


The Dutch National Ballet arrived in the United States in the summer of 1978 with the brightest of all guest stars, Rudolf Nureyev. As the luggage came off the carousel, artistic director Rudi van Dantzig felt a tap on his shoulder and an earnest young American named Roger Urban talked his way into photographing the company's tour. The idea for 'Life Behind the Metaphor'was born.The black-and-white photos that appear in this collection have never been published. Rehearsal shots of the company, moments between Nureyev and van Dantzig, and blockbuster performances of Le Corsaire and Toer van Schayk's Afternoon of a Faun have the distinction of being personally approved by the man himself. While Nureyev inevitably shines with his glorious ballon and charismatic looks, his sound bites are also pungent. Among other gems, there's Nureyev insisting that the photographer never crop out the stage floor from under his soaring jete. His quotations also reveal periods of darkness and his tumultuous relationship with van Dantzig. (Kina Poon)