Robert Tracy (1955–2007) was a dancer, critic, author, educator, and partner of legendary ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Tracy studied dance and classics at Skidmore College and graduated in 1977. He later donated his archive of dance photographs to the College.
As a dancer, Tracy was known for his powerful leaps and earned a scholarship to study at the New York City Ballet-affiliated School of American Ballet in New York, where he met Nureyev. Their relationship lasted 14 years, until Nureyev’s death in 1993 of AIDS-related complications.
After his time as a performer, Tracy turned to writing and teaching. He taught dance history at Fordham University and wrote on dance, theater, music, art, and film for publications such as The New York Times, Vanity Fair, Dance, Elle, and Vogue.
Robert Tracy on Dance includes research photographs from his first book, Balanchine’s Ballerinas: Conversations with the Muses, 1983. The book includes interviews with ballet stars like Alexandra Danilova, Violette Verdy, Suzanne Farrell, and Melissa Hayden, who was Tracy’s teacher at Skidmore College. The book features work by leading practitioners of dance photography, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Manuel Frères, Carolyn George, Paul Hansen, George Platt Lynes, and Martha Swope.
Tracy’s other books include Goddess: Martha Graham’s Dancers Remember, 1997; Spaces of the Mind: Isamu Noguchi’s Dance Designs, 2000; and Ailey Spirit: The Journey of an American Dance Company, 2004. Tracy died in 2007 of AIDS-related complications.