Black Swan

A dancer’s life must be the most exalting thing in the world – and the most excruciating. But, to have performed one arc of the arm, one moment of beauty, one something … I’m not at all keen on going backstage. But the few times I’ve gone backstage to see Nureyev he’s always been wrapped in a dressing gown, sitting with his legs in boiling water and salts. ‘You will understand if I don’t stand up,’ he always says. ‘Naturally,’ I always say. The man is in mortal pain, you understand … this is what is behind the splendeur – l’autre côté de la medaille. This, I think, is our life – actually.

Diana Vreeland

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