It would be absurd to say that Rudolf Nureyev
lived, or danced, in anyone’s shadow. He was a man who leapt and twirled and flew onstage, all muscle but light as a feather, with a freedom and force that reconfigured the human spirit. There’s no denying, though, that over the last few decades, and especially since 1993 (the year he died of AIDS), the image of Nureyev as the flashing erotic god of ballet has been eclipsed, more than a little bit, by that of his compatriot and inheritor Mikhail Baryshnikov
. There are several generations who are now more familiar with the life story, and the unearthly grace, of Misha than they are with the florid Cold War animal magnetism of Nureyev.
That makes a finely crafted, impeccably researched documentary like “Nureyev
” a very welcome experience. The film’s release, on April 19, is clearly timed to coincide with the