The Rudolf Nureyev Foundation & the Centre National du Costume de Scène

Date: 06/07/2022

In addition to stage costumes, clothing, furniture and works of art, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation donated books, various archives and a large collection of more than 4,800 photographic documents linked to Rudolf Nureyev to the CNCS.

The Centre National du Costume de Scène is responsible for the conservation, study and promotion of a heritage collection of more than 10,000 live performance costumes: theatre, opera and ballet.

Its collections were born with the deposits of the three founding institutions: the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Comédie-Française and the National Opera of Paris. Many donations from companies, artists and emblematic theaters have subsequently enriched this exceptional fund.

Located in Moulins, in Allier, France, the CNCS is a place open to the general public but also a research center for professionals and researchers. Since 2008, the Nureyev Collection has been part of the museum’s permanent exhibition. In keeping with Rudolf Nureyev’s wish to see his “name perpetuated in the form of a museum or an exhibition gallery”, the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation has donated hundreds of his possessions. Furniture, musical instruments, textiles, paintings, engravings, sculptures, street and stage costumes, photographs and films, which thus evoke the artistic life of Rudolf Nureyev and his personal aesthetics.

A few weeks ago, the Nureyev Photo Library was created: the Rudolf Nureyev Foundation donated to the CNCS books, various archives and a large collection of more than 4,800 photographic documents linked to Rudolf Nureyev.

These are 85 identified productions whose images illustrate Nureyev’s performances in Le Corsaire, Swan Lake, Marguerite and Armand or Hamlet. There are also 532 prints that testify to his forays into contemporary dance in choreographies by Martha Graham, Maurice Béjart and Glen Tetley. Many portraits of Nureyev are also present, as well as photographs of his family, alongside his relatives, celebrities, political figures, or his Parisian apartment.

Finally, we are very pleased to announce the digitization of several hundred photos by photographer Francette Levieux, which will soon join the photo library. Rare photos of the artist in rehearsals and on stage in roles little known to the general public.

The public can discover an extract from the Nureyev photo library on the occasion of two thematic exhibitions per year where a selection of prints is presented in the permanent space of the museum dedicated to the dancer.

To find out more, visit the CNCS website.