The Nureyev Collection

The Nureyev Collection that is today kept at the CNCS, exhibits the main pieces of Rudolf Nureyev’s heritage: stage costumes illustrating all of the dancer’s 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 : Fondation Rudolf Noureev

Discover the Nureyev Collection in image