The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation

The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation is concerned with the promotion of ballet whether through the support of individual dancers or companies or performances of first class artistic niveau; medical, scientific and humanitarian causes; the support of the memory of Rudolf Nureyev.

History of the Foundation

Rudolf Nureyev established his Foundation in 1975. It was then called The Ballet Promotion Foundation, whose goals were to invest and manage the Foundation’s endowment fund and any other assets, and to distribute grants to the Foundation’s beneficiaries from investment income. The spending of capital was to be governed by the provisions of the statutes.

The first beneficiaries of the Foundation were to be those close to Rudolf Nureyev, particularly his mother, his sisters, and their children. These were to be named in later instructions, with each legacy identified.

The Foundation was also to be concerned with the promotion of ballet, whether through the support of individual dancers or companies and performances. He was careful to emphasize that all activities were to be subject to the restraints of the Foundation’s income.

In 1994 the Foundation was renamed The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. In essence its objects remained as before, with some expanded and defined through instructions from Rudolf Nureyev prior to his death.

Always keen to help young and talented dancers, he asked that money should be provided to assist promising dancers living in the territory previously referred to as the Soviet Union to study ballet in the West for one year, on the understanding that they returned home at its conclusion to contribute to the development of dance in their own country.

Medical, scientific and humanitarian causes are listed as projects which he was keen should be supported.

There was also the request that, subject to the availability of money and without incurring prohibitive expenditure, a museum, gallery or exhibition should be established to perpetuate his memory and to promote the discipline of dance, music and art, to which he had devoted his life.

In 1992 a similar foundation was established in the United States. It is called the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation and is concerned with the perpetuation of Rudolf’s memory and the promotion of dance in North America.

Board of Trustees

Dr Claude Blum – Chairman
Mr Thierry Fouquet – Vice Chairman
Mrs Prudence Skene
Mr Charles Jude
Dr Werner Keicher
Dr Carlo Bagutti
Baroness Deborah Bull


Carlo Bagutti, Prudence Skene, Irène Pozzi, Claude Blum, Charles Jude and Thierry Fouquet

The extent to which the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation has fulfilled its founder’s instructions can be seen by looking at the following:

1. The establishment of annual scholarships at ballet schools in cities in Europe, with which Rudolf Nureyev was associated. Ideally these are to be awarded to Russian students, but potential talent is regarded as the criterion.

2. Grants to dance festivals concentrating on dancers and choreographers from Russia and Eastern Europe and the cross-fertilisation of dance style and techniques between East and West.

3. The depositing of the Nureyev Film Archive painstakingly assembled by Wallace Potts, at the New York Public Library for conservation and access by students, scholars and others.

4. A similar arrangement is in place at the Centre National de la Danse in Paris.

5. The setting up of a website containing essential health and medical information for dancers and doctors, which is now being run in conjunction with a larger website dedicated to Rudolf Nureyev’s life and work.

6. The support of exhibitions about Rudolf Nureyev.

7. Film screenings, both in cinemas and in the open air.

8. Financing of research for the authorized biography of Rudolf Nureyev written by Julie Kavanagh and published in 2007.

9. A Lieu de Memoire is now established as a permanent commemoration of Rudolf Nureyev’s huge contribution to ballet at the CNCS in Moulins, France (see

10. Notation of the Rudolf Nureyev ballets.

11. Exchange programmes for dancers and teachers.

12. The perpetuation of Rudolf Nureyev’s memory through all these activities.