The Nureyev Collection

Permanent space

The Nureyev collection today housed in the CNCS exhibits important pieces of the Rudolf Nureyev heritage: stage costumes illustrating the dancer’s entire career, pieces of furniture, high quality paintings and etchings. It evokes both his professional career and his personal tastes.

The Nureyev Collection at the CNCS

Insatiable dancer, Rudolf Nureyev (1938-93) traveled around the world to dance on all of the greatest stages. This energy and enthusiasm, characteristic of his career, can also be found in his private life. An insatiable collector, he bought many works of art, paintings, sculptures, etchings, engravings, furniture, exotic textiles and musical instruments to decorate some of the properties he acquired during his travels and according to his desires. A regular visitor to auction houses, antique dealers, shops or souks of all countries, little by little he amassed an incredible collection.

Three hundred objects saved from the auctions of Rudolf Nureyev’s estate have found their final resting place at the CNCS. The Nureyev Foundation esteems that the center will know how best to ensure the remembrance and valorization of this collection as Nureyev wished. 

Nureyev and the costume

Rudolf Nureyev has always attached the greatest importance to the esthetics of the stage and in particular the costumes. As a dancer, he sought to highlight his body wearing a doublet that he evolved little by little and used as the basis for all of his costumes irrespective of the style of the production.

In order to lengthen his body he abandoned the use of the “prudish” shorts, to wear only tights that accentuated the musculature of his legs.

Then, he removed the skirt to leave just short doublets. Gradually the characteristics of his doublets changed: low-cut necklines to show his neck, armscyes raised very high to free the arms; the waist, very thin is highlighted by the use of oblique darts at the front and the doublet often ends in a point.

Decorations, embroideries, braids, stones…, are always applied to the costumes according to precise positioning. This taste for opulent esthetics drove him to work with decorators and costumes designers like Nicholas Georgiadis, Martin Kamer, Ezio Frigerio, Franca Squarciapino, Hanae Mori, Petrika Ionesco…

The Rudolf Nureyev foundation has chosen Moulins 

Rudolf Nureyev created his foundation in 1975 under the name « The Ballet Promotion Founda­tion ». At the beginning designed to help his family that had remained in the U.S.S.R. it also supported dancers, troops, ballet schools or even the organization of shows. After his death, it became the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation in 1994, keeping the same great missions. Action is also planned in medical, humanitarian and scientific fields. Finally, the dancer had assigned the foundation with the task of creating a place dedicated to his memory.

Shortly after the opening of the CNCS, in 2008, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation donated all of the objects in its possession that that had belonged to Rudolf Nureyev. Thanks to its support a large number of the pieces are displayed to the public in the exhibition rooms dedicated to this collection.

For further information : http://www.noureev.org/

Commissariat de l’exposition et direction artistique

Ezio Frigerio

Artistic director

Ezio Frigerio is one of the greatest designers in the world of theater and he has worked for the most prestigious institutions and the most famous directors: Giorgio Strehler, Luca Ronconi, Roger Planchon, Jorge Lavelli, Claude Régy and Nicolas Joël...

Artistic director

Ezio Frigerio is one of the greatest designers in the world of theater and he has worked for the most prestigious institutions and the most famous directors: Giorgio Strehler, Luca Ronconi, Roger Planchon, Jorge Lavelli, Claude Régy and Nicolas Joël for opera; Rudolf Nureyev, Roland Petit and Yuri Grigorovitch for ballet; Vittorio di Sica, Liliana Cavani, Bernado Bertoluccci, Jean-Paul Rappeneau and Volker Schlöndorff for film. He has designed some three hundred productions, and some of his sets for the Comédie-Française, the Paris Opera, the Piccolo Theatro and La Scala of Milan have entered history. Ezio Frigerio designed his first sets at the request of Rudolf Nureyev for his 1980 production of Romeo and Juliet at La Scala. The choreographer then commissioned sets for Swan Lake, La Bayadère and Sleeping Beauty. During these collaborations the two artists became close friends. When Rudolf Nureyev died, Ezio Frigerio designed his friend’s grave. Twenty years after the death of the dancer, Ezio Frigerio accepted to conceive the scenography for the first space in the world dedicated to the memory of Rudolf Nureyev.

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Giuliano Spinelli

Scenographer

Giuliano Spinelli was born in Bologna in 1970 and studied art at the La Brera Academy in Milan where his award-winning work was regularly selected for expositions such as that of the Mozart Laboratorium at the Lyric Theater in Milan. After graduating, he...

Scenographer

Giuliano Spinelli was born in Bologna in 1970 and studied art at the La Brera Academy in Milan where his award-winning work was regularly selected for expositions such as that of the Mozart Laboratorium at the Lyric Theater in Milan. After graduating, he participated in exhibitions and television films and then devoted himself to scenography. He became assistant stage director for many opera productions at the Rome Opera, the Massimo Theater in Palermo and at the new theater La Mirandola in Modena, and he has directed fifteen productions. He has collaborated with Ezio Frigerio since 1998 on scenographies in the greatest theaters in the world, and today has added his collaboration to the design of the exhibition space for The Nureyev Collection.

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