Julie Kavanagh trained as a dancer at the Royal Ballet School, and is the author of Secret Muses: The Life of Frederick Ashton. She has worked as ballet critic of the Spectator; Arts Editor of Harpers & Queen; and London Editor of Vanity Fair and the New Yorker. She is married to the ex Royal Ballet dancer, now dance film maker, Ross MacGibbon, and has two sons.
Shortlisted for the Costa Biography Award 2007.Costa Book Awards 2007 Judges' comment: "A consummate portrait of an artist who was not always likeable, but consistently fascinating."Please note that an extract from this book will be available to download soon.
Born on a train in Stalin's Russia, Rudolf Nureyev was ballet's first pop icon. No other dancer of our time has generated the same excitement - both on and off stage. Nureyev's achievements and conquests became legendary: he rose out of Tatar peasant poverty to become the Kirov's thrilling maverick star; slept with his beloved mentor's wife; defected to the West in l961; sparked Rudimania across the globe; gave his rabid sexuality full reign; established the most rhapsodic partnership in dance history with the middle-aged Margot Fonteyn; reinvented male technique; gatecrashed modern dance; moulded new stars; and staged Russia's unknown ballet masterpieces in the West. Julie Kavanagh's uncompromising and magnificent biography, ten years in the making, is a brilliant tribute to a superstar the world can never forget.
Sir Frederick Ashton, Britain's greatest choreographer, was a major figure on the cultural landscape of the twentieth century and his influence extended far beyond the world of dance. Julie Kavanagh traces Ashton's progress with a keen and sympathetic sense of both the man and his milieu. The drama of his professional and private life - among his close associates were Constant Lambert, Benjamin Britten, W. B. Yeats, the Sitwells and Cecil Beaton - is skilfully interwoven with vivid descriptions of the ballets themselves. 'Not only the best biography of a ballet figure but, far more important, a Proustian recollection of that glamorous near-mythical time, the first half of our now setting century.' Gore Vidal