Celebrating the Work of Rudolf Nureyev–and the Beauty of the Tutu

Rudolf Nureyev and Noëlla Pontois in La Bayadère – Palais Garnier, 1974. Photo by André Chino.

The latest exhibition to come to the de Young Museum in San Francisco celebrates the life and work of famed dancer, choreographer, and company director Rudolf Nureyev. Rudolf Nureyev: A Life in Dance presents over 70 costumes from ballets that Nureyev performed in or choreographed–including Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, and Manfred–as well as a number of photographs, videos, and ephemera chronicling his legendary career.

Nureyev had a lifelong obsession with costume–he combed over every detail from fabric selection and embellishments to silhouette and cut. “He demanded costumes that were not only beautiful, but precisely engineered to suit the physical demands of his dance,” noted the de Young. Accompanying the exhibition is an Artist Studio workshop, Floating on Air: Ballet Costume Atelier and Presentations, taught by one of our very own instructors, Jean Lamprell.

Jean has designed and created classical tutus for many of the worlds leading ballet companies and principal dancers, including The Royal Opera House and the San Francisco Ballet, and her beautiful work was featured in the most recent issue of 180 Magazine. On Saturdays and Sundays from January 9 – Febraury 3, Jean will recreate the Juliet costume she originally built for Nureyev’s production of Romeo and Juliet, engaging visitors with insights into tutu construction as she works. If you’ve never had a chance to take her class, this is a great way to get a brief introduction to the art of tutu-making!

For more information on the exhibit and artist studio events, click here.