Rudolf Nureyev: in search of perfection

September 6, 2013

Press Releases

Rudolf Nureyev: in search of perfection

Frederick Ashton with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, 1962. Photo: Associated Newspapers, The Royal Ballet School Collections, White Lodge Museum.

Frederick Ashton with Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, 1962. Photo: Associated Newspapers, The Royal Ballet School Collections, White Lodge Museum.

A new exhibition, Rudolf Nureyev: in search of perfection, opens at White Lodge Museum & Ballet Resource Centre next week to mark the 20th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Nureyev (1938-93), and to celebrate his lifelong search for perfection as a dancer, choreographer and director.


Two of Nureyev’s own costumes will be on display, as well as a tutu worn by Margot Fonteyn which she gave to Nureyev, all of which are from his personal collection. The costumes featured are those worn by Nureyev in the late 1970s when starring in his own productions of Romeo and Juliet and Don Quixote. Also on display will be Fonteyn’s white-feathered tutu from Swan Lake, which she famously performed with Nureyev on many occasions around the world.


The exhibition will include unique material from The Royal Ballet School archives such as the Vera Volkova Collection which illustrates the importance of this famous Russian ballet teacher (who taught at the School and the Royal Ballet between 1943-50) to Nureyev, following his sensational defection to the West in 1961. School records also show Nureyev with the young Royal Ballet School students he cast in his Royal Ballet production of The Nutcracker (1968).


This small-scale but stunning exhibition will open to the public at White Lodge Museum on 10 September until early April 2014, after which it will transfer to The Royal Ballet Upper School in Covent Garden. The exhibition is free, but visitors must book in advance by calling 020 8392 8440 (option 7).

White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre

White Lodge Museum and Ballet Resource Centre is the first dedicated ballet museum in the UK. It is housed within White Lodge – a Grade I listed building, which is home to The Royal Ballet Lower School.


Visitors to White Lodge Museum can learn about the daily life of students at The Royal Ballet School, the history and development of Classical ballet and the fascinating story of White Lodge itself. Displays feature material from the internationally significant Royal Ballet School Collections, including Margot Fonteyn’s ballet shoe, the death mask of Anna Pavlova, and the school reports of famous alumni.



The Royal Ballet School

The Royal Ballet School is one of the world’s greatest centres of classical ballet training which for generations has produced dancers and choreographers of international renown – from Margot Fonteyn, Antoinette Sibley, Anthony Dowell, Anya Linden, Darcey Bussell and Kenneth MacMillan, to a new generation currently making its mark on the world stage – Lauren Cuthbertson, Steven McRae, Edward Watson and Christopher Wheeldon to name but a few.


Admission to the School is based purely on talent and potential, regardless of academic ability or personal circumstances, and 90% of current students rely on financial support to attend the School.


Our mission is to train and educate outstanding classical ballet dancers for The Royal Ballet, Birmingham Royal Ballet and other top international dance companies, and in doing so to set the standards in dance training, nationally and internationally.


The School offers an eight-year carefully structured dance course, aligned with an extensive academic programme, giving the students the best possible education to equip them for a career in the world of dance.


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