The main highlight is the DANCE: A Tribute to Rudolf Nureyev exhibition, which showcases 14 fascinating costumes from the ballets the late “King of Dance” performed at various iconic theatres, including the Paris Opera House.
Flamboyant and charismatic, Rodolf Nureyev (1938-1993) made his debut with the Kirov Ballet in Russia aged 17, defecting to western Europe in 1961, and eventually finding fame and fortune throughout the world. Much of his work took place at the Paris Opera House, where he worked closely alongside his protégé Charles Jude.
Alongside the costumes, which are on loan from Jude’s private collection, 49 unpublished photographs of the ballet legend’s performances are also on display. This is the first time the above are presented in Singapore.
Throughout the exhibition, which is part of the institute’s ongoing French excellence programme, a series of interesting talks, workshops and conferences will further encourage dialogue and offer a deeper insight into Nureyev’s legacy as a dancer and choreographer, as well as the evolution of ballet in the cultural landscape.
Already, the Rudolf Nureyev X Charles Jude Dance Conference, which also features a short live performance by Singapore Dance Theatre’s principal dancer Etienne Ferrère and soloist Akira Nakahama, is fully sold out. Culture vultures who love the spectacle of stage performances should attend the Costume Design with Leonard Choo Conference, which gives an insider’s perspective into the backstage world. Choo, who is currently a director at Textile and Fashion Federation Singapore, had worked on costumes for over 75 ballets, including 12 seasons with the New York City Ballet.
Six French films based on the topic of dance, including Nureyev biopic The White Crow starring Ralph Fiennes, will also be screened. There are also champagne tasting workshops, and sessions for discovering French vodka and French brand Sturia’s sustainably farmed caviar produced in the Aquitaine region of the country.
Fabian Forni, executive director of Alliance Française de Singapour, says: “It is an honour to be able to showcase this exquisite collection from one of the most influential figures in ballet to Singapore. Dance, and ballet specifically, is hugely important to France’s cultural tapestry, and we are thrilled to be incorporating this into our French Excellence programming, which showcases French expertise and history to facilitate cross-cultural understanding.”
Visit Alliance Française de Singapour for more information, programme schedules and ticketing details.
(All images: Alliance Française de Singapour; archive images of Rudolf Nureyev courtesy if Charles Jude)