The Google Cultural Institute and the CNCS

The Google Cultural Institute goes on stage with a new virtual tool dedicated to the performing arts

In 2015, the Google Cultural Institute launched an innovative project focusing on the performing arts (theatre, dance, music and opera) to invite its worldwide users to “go on stage with the artists”. This project was created in conjunction with more than 60 international renowned institutions, among them the French National Center of Stage Costume, the Paris Opera, the Philarmonie de Paris, the Opéra-Comique, the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, the Comédie des Champs-Elysées, the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence and the Maison des Cultures du Monde. 

In June 2017, this partnership was rekindled thanks to a platform entitled “We Wear Fashion”. For the National Center of  Stage Costume (NCSC, or CNCS in French), it was the opportunity to let its visitors view online its most recent exhibition, Fashion: In Town and On Stage.

The CNCS mission is to preserve the cultural and material heritage of theatres. Its goal is to bring forth and enhance the study of more than 10 000 stage costumes and hand-painted stage sets. Coming from the storage rooms of the Paris Opera, the Comédie-Française and the National Library of France, those articles highlight and sublimate the performance of every artist. In addition to showcasing stage costumes and sets, the Center also trains artisans of the performing arts to create various pieces and accessories. Last but not least, it shelters a research library. 


- The Ultra High-Definition pictures of a kimono that belonged to the Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev. This XXth  century piece is the work of a Chinese theatre costume designer. Since it is decorated with embroidered heads of dragons and detailed scale patterns, it was probably intended for a military character or a male warrior. Via Gigapixel, Internet users can admire the magnificence of this yellow satin costume. The complexity of the silk and metallic thread needlepoints as well as the intricate techniques that wereused to fix the straps are finally revealed. 

- The Ultra-High Definition snapshots of a High-Fashion dress worn by Julia Bartet in Pépa, a play that was performed at the Comédie-Française in 1888.

- 11 CNCS exhibitions online, notably Vestiaire de Diva with hundreds of stage gowns and outfits that were created for the greatest opera singers, Maria Callas and many others. 

- 450 stage costumes shown in High-Definition and from different angles.

- A Cardboard Tour of the Rudolf Nureyev Collection that allows the viewers to immerse themselves into the professional and personal worlds of this unforgettable XXth century dancer.

- A StreetView Visit of the XVIIIth century cavalry headquarters that is now home to the National Center of Stage Costume and whose main building is listed by the Historic Monument Society. 

You may also download the Arts & Culture application on Android.