In the biting Soviet winter of 1941, a small boy spins on the earthen floor of a shack, his shabby boots kicking up the dust. Twenty years later, his first season in Paris, he has the world at his feet.
Dancer is the story of a genius, an enigma, a social force. It is the story of one boy's single-minded devotion to dance and of those swept along, and sometimes destroyed, by his obsession. As his fame soars, the communist state tightens its grip on those around him, until he must choose between his art and his homeland.
Based on the life of Rudolf Nureyev, Colum McCann has created a breathtaking novel - as controlled, passionate and extravagant as its hero - that takes us into the heart of the era the dancer came to represent, and into the truth of what it means to dance.