The Nureyev Foundation, in conformance with Nureyev’s wishes, selected the cncs to house the Nureyev Collection. The permanent exhibition, designed by Ezio Frigerio, dedicated to the Nureyev Collection, commemorates the exceptional career of this great 20th century dancer, his work as choreographer, his lifestyle, his taste for opulent interior decoration, his passion as collector (objects, furniture, textiles) and his love of music.

Nureyev played a major role in the evolution of male dance in the 20th century. He kept the force and technique of the classical dancer but refined them to an extreme. From the beginning of his career he reworked the major male roles to give them more importance and virtuosity. He interprets his roles as an actor, with charisma and dramatic truth. After him, this type of interpretation became the rule for all male dancers.

Rudolf Nureyev attached great importance to his own costumes and those of his productions. On stage he sought to put his body to best advantage without hampering his movement. In order to lengthen his line, he abandoned the short pants worn for modesty's sake, and wore only tights, which showed off his legwork to better advantage. Then, to free his movement even more, he shortened the line of the doublets to just above the waist. Little by little, the characteristics of his costume became clearer, and by the 1960s a model for a doublet evolved which would be the base for all his future costumes, no matter what the style of the production.

Doublet for the role of the Prince in the "Nutcracker"
Pas de deux, unknown costume designer, 1962. Silk, faille, glass beads. CNCS – 2013.1.1
Pair of dance shoes (ballet slippers)
Last quarter of the 20th century, London. Leather. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation.
Doublet for the role of Romeo
"Romeo and Juliet", act II. Costume by Ezio Frigerio, 1977, London Festival Ballet. Velvet, silver lamé, silk. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN-77RJ002
Doublet for the role of Basilio in "Don Quixote"
"Don Quixote", act III. Costume by Nicholas Georgiadis, 1979, Ballet of the Opera of Zurich. Silk, gold and silver lamé, lace. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN-79DQ001
Doublet for the role of Jean de Brienne in "Raymonda"
"Raymonda", act III. Costume by Nicholas Georgiadis, 1983, National Opera of Paris. Silk, gold lamé. CNCS / National Opera of Paris. D-ONP-83RA002
Costume for the role of the Harlequin
"Harlequin, magician for love". Costume by Claudie Gastine, 1984, Opéra Comique, Paris. Sateen, paint, leather. CNCS / National Opera of Paris. D-ONP-85AM001

During his career he remounted or created around fifteen ballets, most of which are still danced today by the most prestigious dance companies. These productions are sometimes very close to the original choreographies, as is the case of La Bayadère, which had previously been unknown in the West. In other cases they are given a new interpretation, as in Cinderella, which Nureyev chose to place in the America of the 1930s. He also created new one-act ballets, which are witness to his insatiable cultural appetite. He was often inspired by music (Bach Suite) or by literature (Manfred,The Tempest, Washington Square).

Costume worn by Sylvie Guillem for the role of Cinderella
"Cinderella", act II. Costume by Hanae Mori, 1986, National Opera of Paris. Muslin, silk, sequins, feathers. CNCS / National Opera of Paris. D-ONP-86CE001
Tutu worn by Noëlla Pontois for the role of Nikiya in "La Bayadère" (The Temple Dancer)
"La Bayadère", act III, known as the act of shadows. Costume by Martin Kamer, 1974, National Opera of Paris. White satin, silver lamé, black braids, silver, pearls. CNCS/ National Opera of Paris, D - ONP - 74BA002
Costume worn by Nicolas Tsiskaridzé for the role of Solor in "La Bayadère" (The Temple Dancer)
"La Bayadère", act III (act of shadows). Costume by Franca Squarciapino, 1992, National Opera of Paris. White silk, golden metallic thread, sequins. CNCS / National Opera of Paris. D-ONP-92BA005
Costume worn by Laurent Hilaire for the role of Solor in "La Bayadère" (The Temple Dancer)
"La Bayadère", act I. Costume by Franca Squarciapino, 1992, National Opera of Paris. Green and gold sari, sequins. CNCS / National Opera of Paris. D-ONP-92BA008

Sets and costumes frame the dance and the dancers, for whom nothing is too beautiful or rich, especially when the choreographies of Marius Petipa are concerned. Nureyev’s imagination was nourished by the splendor of tsarist Russia, the sumptuous productions of Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes and the aesthetics of the films by Visconti and Zeffirelli. Nureyev loved generous, sumptuous productions, bountiful as ceremonies. He worked with designers who shared his taste and vision: Barry Kay, Nicholas Georgiadis, Martin Kamer, Ezio Frigerio, Petrika Ionesco…

Scenery model (Reconstitution 2013). "Raymonda", act II. Scenery by Nicholas Georgiadis, 1983, National Opera of Paris.
Scenery model (Reconstitution 2013). "Cinderella", act III. Scenery by Petrika Ionesco, 1986, National Opera of Paris.
Scenery model (Reconstitution 2013). "La Bayadère" (The Temple Dancer), act II. Scenery by Ezio Frigerio, 1992, National Opera of Paris.
Room 3
The third room is devoted to Nureyev as a collector. It houses a reconstitution of the inside his Parisian home.

At the end of his life, Nureyev possessed seven properties around the world: an apartment in a town house at 23 Quai Voltaire in Paris, another in The Dakota in New York, a farm in Virginia, a house in London, villas in Saint-Barthélémy and in Monte Carlo and another on Li Galli islands in Italy. Nureyev was a true nomad, dancing on stages worldwide, and did not live much in his residences. These served however as homes to the collections which he amassed compulsively all during his life in the West. The Paris apartment, bought in 1979 was the place Nureyev lived in most. Emilio Carcano, interior decorator and theater designer, created an opulent, theatrical interior around the furniture.

Hat stand
Anonymous, CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.314

Collection of hats belonging to Rudolf Nureyev
Second half of the 20th century
Leather and textile, CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation

Pedestal table
Anonymous
Russia, 19th century
Karelian Birch, CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.16

Teapot and its base
Anonymous England, 19th century
Silver, ivory, CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.14

This room displays a selection of Rudolf Nureyev’s personal collections.

As if to divide the intention into two distinct parts: the body and its settings, the collection of paintings and etchings may be interpreted in two themes. For the paintings, exclusively male portraits and mainly nudes from the 19th century, what is sought is not the beauty of lines – those of the human material that are dancers for a choreography suffice – but the force of the compact silhouettes, workshop and study work perhaps for mythological scenes.
For the etchings, mostly dating from the 16th and 18th centuries, we are surprised to find none, or almost none, with only one or two exceptions containing subjects relating to dance. The drawings and views of the town and monuments remind us of the wandering of this eternal traveler who liked to recall that he was born on a train … Two series are significant, the etchings by Lodovico Burnacini for Il Fuoco eterno and those by Coypel for Don Quixote. The Collection is made up of one hundred works (including 7 paintings).

The Elssler sisters
Firmin Salabert (1811-1895) made engravings of many great artists of the Romantic Theater, like the singers Pauline Garcia, Guilia Grisi and Jenny Lind, and the dancers Marie Taglioni and Fanny and Thérèse Elssler. The Elssler sisters, born in Vienna, were famous ballerinas who performed frequently in Paris, on stage at the Opera on rue Le Peletier. Fanny was the most talented, and her sister was often her partner, including for lifts.
Prints by Charles Antoine Coypel
Prints by Charles Antoine Coypel (1694-1752) for Don Quixote, done between 1714 and 1751, for the Gobelins tapestry works. The subtel style takes us far from the picturesque spirit of Cervante’s work. These plates were published by Gerard van der Gucht to illustrate the edition of Don Quixote published by John Bowles in London in 1781. H.32,5 CM/ L.48,2 CM – INV.RN.2008.56.3
Prints by Charles Antoine Coypel
Prints by Charles Antoine Coypel (1694-1752) for Don Quixote, done between 1714 and 1751, for the Gobelins tapestry works. The subtel style takes us far from the picturesque spirit of Cervante’s work. These plates were published by Gerard van der Gucht to illustrate the edition of Don Quixote published by John Bowles in London in 1781. H.32,5 CM/ L.48,2 CM – INV.RN.2008.56.21
Plate of the proportions of the human body, with fencing movements.
Plate of the proportions of the human body, with fencing movements. Prints by Johann Gelle (Cologne, circa 1580 – Amsterdam 1625), 17th century. The commentary of this plate begins with this enthusiastic comment, “Man is the most perfect ans most excellent of all the creatures in the world.” H. 52,5 CM/L. 61 CM – INV. RN.2008.70
Prints by Matthaus Küsel
Prints by Matthaus Küsel after drawings by Ludovico Burnacini (Mantua, 1636 – Vienna, 1707). They represent twelve scenes from the opera Il Fuoco eterno custudito dale Vestali, composed by Antonio Draghi and J.H Schmelzer, created in Vienna at the Court Theater for the birth of the archduchess Anna Maria II with sets and costumes by Ludovico Burnacini. Burnacini studied with his father, a great architect and scenographer in Mantua. He worked at the Viennese court, under the protection of Leopold I. He constructed palaces and theaters there and worked with the composer Draghi on the renovation of Viennese opera as desired by the emperor. L. 43,5 CM/H.32,4 CM – INV.RN.2008.189 A 200

Nureyev was a passionate collector of fabrics and rugs, which he bought during his tours and kept in piles in those houses in America and Europe. He collected kaftans, kimonos, brocades and cashmeres, but above all, he wore them in private. At the top of the list of his passions were kilims, the woolen rugs woven in the Caucasus and in central Asia. At the end of his life, Nureyev possessed hundreds of them, mostly piled up under his furniture.

Chinese gown
Chinese gown in yellow silk brocaded with a single large dragon. Dominant red and blue. Closed by 5 Chinese ball buttons. Black and silver button closure strip. Lining in white silk. RN.2008.6

Nureyev’s fame began as soon as he defected in 1961. The event was heavily covered by the media. This coverage continued between 1962 and 1965 while he danced at the Royal Opera House in London with Margo Fonteyn. Fame would follow him for the rest of his life. His career coincided with the emergence of mass culture: he danced for television, appeared in the tabloid press, and acted in two films (Valentino in 1977 and Exposed in 1991).

Jacket
Michael Fish, tailor, London, circa 1965. Golden leather. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation, RN.2008.251
Three-pocketed jacket and trousers and multicolored Kenzo shawl
Byblos (sold by Charivari, New York). Italy, around 1980. Cotton. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.256. Circa 1975. Wool. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.255

Music was one of Nureyev’s true passions. It led him quite naturally to dance and remained present during his entire life. Nureyev’s dancing was characterized by a deep musical sensibility and the capacity to transmit each nuance of the musical score. Early on, Nureyev expressed an interest in conducting, and he was encouraged in this by Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein in the 1970s. In 1990 he plunged into orchestra conducting with the same passion as for the dance. His career as conductor lasted little more than a year, but it is an astonishing one because of the number of concerts he gave, considering his inexperience and his illness.

Tailcoat
Anderson and Sheppard, tailors. London, 1976. Wool, faille, silk. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.10
Hofberg Harmonium
Germany, 20th century. Wood. CNCS, donation from the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. RN.2008.18

Rudolf Nureyev, suffering from AIDS, passed away in Paris on June 6th, 1993. According to his last wishes he was laid to rest in the Russian Cemetery at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois in the Paris region. The civil ceremony took place on January 12th, 1993 at the Palais Garnier.
Entirely covered in Mosaic, his tombstone represents the kilim oriental rug that was so dear to the artist. It was created by the set designer Ezio Frigerio who had worked with Nureyev on several occasions.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Translate with Google
Home
Explore
Nearby
Profile