In October, 2013, the Centre national du costume de scène (CNCS), a unique museum and major conservation center for the performing arts, is opening a permanent exhibition space devoted to Rudolf Nureyev, one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century. The Rudolf Nureyev Collection will present aspects of the personal and artistic life of this of this star of Russian dance who chose liberty in Paris and had an exceptional international career.
An insatiable collector with a pronounced taste for sumptuous décor, Rudolf Nureyev accumulated a great number of paintings, etchings, costumes, fabrics, furniture and objects. After his death, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation had the task of selling the majority of this patrimony, with the exception of a few hundred pieces, which were kept to constitute a collection in honor of this great dancer.
In 2008 the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation made a gift of this collection to the CNCS, thus following the wishes of the choreographer to keep the collection intact in one place. The project, which allows the public to discover the career of the dancer and the life of the man, was selected as part of the Regional Museum Plan by the Minister of Culture and Communication.
In order to celebrate the spirit of Rudolf Nureyev, the CNCS asked the scenographer and designer Ezio Frigerio, assisted by Guiliano Spinelli, to create the scenography for this collection space. Ezio Frigerio, a dear friend of the choreographer, worked with Nureyev on some of his legendary ballets: Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliette, La Bayadère and Sleeping Beauty. The collection will put approximately one hundred items which belonged to the dancer into perspective, evoking his artistic life and his personal esthetics.
Photos, street clothes and costumes will reveal the public life, childhood and career of the dancer. Paintings, etchings and sculptures as well as furniture, fabrics and musical instruments will be witness to his taste for opulent décor, luxurious interiors and his passion for music.
Thanks to a theatrical scenography, the Rudolf Nureyev Collection will reveal the soul of this dancer and choreographer who was so essential to the 20thcentury and will allow the public to enter into his exuberant universe.
The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation chose Moulins
Rudolf Nureyev created his foundation in 1975 under the name “The Ballet Promotion Foundation”. It was first designed to help his family in the Soviet Union, but as well to support dancers, dance companies, ballet schools and productions. In 1994, after Nureyev’s death, it became The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, keeping the same objectives but expanding to include action in medical, humanitarian and scientific fields. The responsibility of establishing a space dedicated to the memory of the dancer was assigned to the Foundation.
Two years after the opening of the CNCS, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation made a gift of a part of the objects, furniture, paintings, costumes, fabrics, etc. which had belonged to Rudolf Nureyev and which were being held in trust by the Foundation. Thanks to its support, a large number of these pieces will find their permanent place in the exhibition rooms consecrated to this Collection.