BAC is the realization of a long-held vision by artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov who sought to build an arts center in Manhattan that would serve as a gathering place for artists from all disciplines. BAC’s opening in 2005 heralded the launch of this mission, establishing a thriving creative laboratory and performance space for artists from around the world. BAC’s activities encompass a robust residency program augmented by a range of professional services, including commissions of new work, as well as the presentation of performances by artists at varying stages of their careers. In tandem with its commitment to supporting artists, BAC is dedicated to building audiences for the arts by presenting contemporary, innovative work at affordable ticket prices. For more information, please visit www.bacnyc.org.
About the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation
In tribute to Rudolf Nureyev, whose love of the new in dance sprang from a profound faith in ballet's traditional past, the Rudolf Nureyev® Dance Foundation seeks to preserve and protect the history and tradition of dance while simultaneously encouraging its progress and development. Specifically, the Foundation aims to perpetuate Rudolf Nureyev's name, and to advance his vision and contribution to dance through its study, performance and appreciation. Financially, through grants to benefit dance, the Foundation aims to carry on the legacy that Rudolf Nureyev has left behind - his extraordinary dedication to the art of dance. The Trustees of the Foundation include Chairman of the Board, Barry L. Weinstein, and Jeannette Etheredge, Paul Horowitz, Joyce A. Moffatt, and Hilary Weinstein.
Mr. Weinstein said: “The Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation is proud to award the Baryshnikov Arts Center a significant gift to create a named space for Rudolf Nureyev. Our gift is a fitting tribute to Nureyev's legacy and an important recognition of BAC's role as a home for dance. Nureyev's emergence in the West was pivotal in dance history and paved the way for future dance luminaries. The uniting of the names, Nureyev and Baryshnikov, who shared cultural backgrounds, were both trained in the legendary Vaganova Academy in St. Petersburg, were colleagues and friends, and who were arguably two of the greatest dancers the world has ever seen, will provide stimulus for excellence in dance for many years to come.”
Mikhail Baryshnikov, artistic director of BAC said: “I am thrilled and grateful for the generous support from the Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation. With this new gift, we will be able to establish the first endowed fund at BAC––an incredible milestone for our organization. BAC’s mission is to provide a space and home for artists and dancers to continue to grow and develop their art, with absolute freedom. This embodies what Rudolf Nureyev represented: who he was as a person and an artist. I am so moved to be able to have a space at BAC that will bear Rudolf Nureyev’s name and provide inspiration for countless dancers and artists in the years to come. Rudolf loved this City and I know he would be so happy to know that his name will be carried forward here at BAC.”
Born in Siberia of Tatar descent, Rudolf Nureyev (1938––1993) was an extraordinary, charismatic dancer and choreographer, renowned for his versatility, exuberant dynamism and energy. He was admired for being able to master different styles with extraordinary ease. Among his many achievements, Nureyev choreographed and restaged many classics, served as the Paris Opera Ballet's artistic director (1983––1989), and worked with most of the notable dancers and choreographers of his time. Nureyev was well known as Dame Margot Fonteyn’s favorite partner. Nureyev began his ballet studies at 11. At 17 he entered the Leningrad Ballet School, working with Aleksandr Pushkin. Upon graduating in 1958 he became soloist with the Kirov (now Mariinsky) Ballet. After being granted asylum in France in 1961, he danced with the Grand Ballet du Marquis de Cuevas. He made his American debut in 1962, appearing on American television and the Chicago Opera Ballet. Later that year he joined theRoyal Ballet (London) as a permanent guest artist and continued to work with companies and choreographers around the world as a guest star throughout his career.