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The Dance Insider is for sale for $13,500. Or, the current publisher will give the magazine away in exchange for journalism work and papers in France. For details please contact editor & publisher Paul Ben-Itzak.


Rudolf Nureyev and Noella Pontois in "La Bayadere," Palais Garnier, 1974. Photograph by André Chino. Courtesy CNCS.

Text copyright 2012 Paul Ben-Itzak

SAN FRANCISCO -- With its love of pageantry -- the city's eternal scribe Herb Caen once declared "If all the world's a stage, San Francisco is the cast party" -- it's no surprise that an exhibition focused on the accouterments of Rudolf Nureyev would find its sole U.S. venue at the City by the Bay's de Young Museum. Besides hosting a landmark exhibition on the costumes of the Ballets Russes two decades ago, San Francisco, party town, was where Nureyev and his ethereal partner Margot Fonteyne were arrested in 1967 at what the Associated Press described as "a hippieland party in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district," charged with "disturbing the piece and visiting a place where narcotics -- marijuana -- were being used." That particular narcotic is now dispensed routinely as medicine at "medical marijuana clubs," naked guys parade in the streets without fear of being arrested (it's only indecency, says the city ordinance, if the citizen is, er, erect),but that tame incident (not to mention the performance which preceded it) cemented Nureyev's place in city lore. As for the content of Rudolf Nureyev: A Life, opening October 6 and running through February 17 at the de Young in Golden Gate Park, "The objects in the exhibition are the witnesses to his real life," said Delphine Pinasa, director of the Centre national du costume de scene in Moulins, France, which loaned the bulk of the 70 costumes (from ballets danced in or choreographed by Nureyev) that, augmented by photographs, video, and assorted ephemera comprise the exhibition. "They make up the daily luggage of this eternal traveler, of this rootless soul who found his identity in dance studios, rehearsal rooms, and on stages around the world." As Nureyev himself said: "You live as long as you dance."

(For more on the man who filled out the costumes from a man who worked with him for 11 years, subscribers can click here.)


Left: Rudolf Nureyev in "La Bayadere," Palais Garnier, 1974. Photograph by André Chino. Courtesy CNCS. Right: Rudolf Nureyev in Murray Louis's "Moments," with the Murray Louis Dance Company, 1977. Photograph © Francette Levieux.


Left: Rudolf Nureyev in Apollon Musagete, choreographed by George Balanchine, 1974. Photograph © Francette Levieux. Right: Rudolf Nureyev, photograph © Francette Levieux.


Left: Costume for the Lilac Fairy Queen in "Sleeping Beauty," Teatro alla Scalla, Milan, 1966. Collection CNSC/Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. Photograph by Pascal Francois/CNCS. Right: Costume by Nicholas Giorgiadis, doublet for Rudolf Nureyev in the role of Prince Florimond, Act III, in "Sleeping Beauty," Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1966. Sleeveless gray and silver waistcoat trimmed with gold lace, yellow braid, and gold filigree buttons; white false shirt with pleated sleeves and lace cuffs. Collection CNCS/Rudolf Nureyev Foundation. Photograph by Pascal Francois/CNCS.


Left: Costume for Rudolf Nureyev in the role of Romeo, Act II, "Romeo and Juliet," Paris Opera Ballet. 1984. Velvet, silk, silver lamé, metallic lace, and sequins. Collection of CNCS/Opéra national de Paris. Photograph by Pascal Francois/CNCS. Right: Costume for Rudolf Nureyev in the role of Romeo, Act II, "Romeo and Juliet," Paris Opera Ballet, 1984. Velvet, silk, silver lamé, metallic lace, and sequins. Collection of CNCS/Opéra national de Paris. Photograph by Pascal Francois/CNCS.


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