Rudolf Nureyev is one of the enduring icons of 20th-century performing arts, a figure whose fame reached far beyond the ballet stage. What is there to say about Nureyev that hasn't already been said in numerous books and documentaries? In a post-Soviet world, new sources of information have emerged. Featuring recently recorded interviews with Russian friends and colleagues now free to discuss his early years, as well as archival footage not seen in the West, "Nureyev: The Russian Years" traces his meteoric career with fresh insight and candor. This performance documentary reveals at last why he felt compelled to defect in 1961 - his daring quest for personal and artistic freedom - as well as his painful homecoming many years later under the hostile eye of the KGB. The program complements the publication in October 2007 of a major new authorized biography by Julie Kavanagh.