The National Center for Costume and Theatrical Design hosts a permanent exhibition dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev, one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century. The Collection, unveiling aspects of the personal and artistic life of an artist who achieved an exceptional international career, is showcased by a theatrical interpretation created by set designer and close friend of Nureyev, Ezio Frigerio, assisted by Giuliano Spinelli.The Collection, unveiling aspects of the personal and artistic life of an artist who achieved an exceptional international career, is showcased by a theatrical interpretation created by set designer and close friend of Nureyev, Ezio Frigerio, assisted by Giuliano Spinelli.
This tribute to the memory of the artist was made possible thanks to the collection of objects donated by the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation in 2008, and to honor the artist’s request to see his “name live on in the form of a museum or art gallery.”
A collection of some one hundred objects including furniture, musical instruments, artworks, prints, sculptures, costumes worn on and off stage, photographs and films unveil the artistic life of Rudolf Nureyev and his unique aesthetic.
For conservation reasons, the costumes, prints and photographs cannot remain on permanent display. Therefore, twice a year, the objects on display are switched with others in the collection, allowing visitors to discover new works from the Nureyev Collection.
Rudolf Nureyev Foundation
Founded as “The Ballet Promotion Foundation”, Rudolf Nureyev created his foundation in 1975. Initially established with the aim of helping his family who had remained in the USSR, the Foundation would also distribute grants to dancers, dance companies, dance schools or to organize performances. After his death, the Foundation was renamed the “Rudolf Nureyev Foundation” in 1994. Its objectives remained more or less the same, with the addition of other work that had been defined in his will.
In the early 2000s, the Foundation donated a part of the archives including books, periodicals, programs, photos, recordings and press cuttings, to the Centre National de la Danse (French National Dance Center). Eight years later, the Foundation decided to split the collection between three institutions: the Oufa Museum in Russia (where Nureyev was born), to which it gave some of the stage costumes, posters, programs, photos and commemorative objects; the music department of the French National Library, to which it left personal and professional documents from Nureyev’s Paris days; and to the CNCS, to which it donated, in 2008, the biggest part of the collection with the aim of creating a space commemorating the legacy of Rudolf Nureyev, the great dancer, choreographer, ballet master and artistic director.