PERSONAL BELONGINGS OF RUDOLF NUREYEV AND HIS IMMEDIATE CIRCLE FROM THE COLLECTION OF HIS CLOSEST FRIEND DOUCE FRANÇOIS
Stage costumes, photographs, albums and a medal.
Of particular historical value are the unique videotapes of Rudolf Nureyev, among them private recordings made with a group of friends during a visit to the USA and his last appearance on stage.
Rudolf Nureyev, the greatest ballet dancer of his times, a Soviet «escapee», a legendary personality. He continued to perform until the very end. At his last premiere of the ballet La Bayadère at the Paris Grand Opera, where he was choreographer, Nureyev was awarded the Ordre Commendatore des Arts et des Lettres, the highest French award for his contribution to culture. When he struggled to get up on stage, everyone knew it was his farewell. A never ending applause followed.
Douce François, French of Chilean origin, was a devoted friend of Rudolf Nureyev. She met Nureyev when she lived with Raimundo de Larrain, director of the Marquis de Cuevas Ballet Company. The young woman was immediately absorbed by Rudolph and offered him to stay with her at her place; she hosted him until he bought his own apartment in 1982. She selected his clothes, brewed his tea in a thermos, answered his phone, arranged his meetings, ran antique stores for him, accompanied him to parties, and she also was his personal driver.
Private property of Douce François
Christie’s auction, Paris, 19 - 20 December 2006