Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Pilgrimage to Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois


For years I have wanted to see this amazing tribute to Rudolph Nureyev, a fringed kilim rug meticulously crafted in bronze and glass mosaics by Ezio Frigerio.  The loose drapes of rug over the "traveling trunk" is a bright gem in the Russian Orthodox Cemetery, an homage to Nureyev's Bashkir heritage.

His funeral, the civil ceremony, was at Opéra Garnier in the rococo foyer after an elegant procession up the grand staircase.  The devotees of Nureyev payed their respects as an orchestra played Tchaikovsky and Bach.  The splendor of Garnier was left behind and he was buried in the Russian cemetery at Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois.

One week ago, Peter (Peter's Paris) and I made the journey by train, by bus, and on foot to the remote town.  As a town it is oblivious to the cemetery and does not encourage the tourists with signs of direction.  For two hours we saw only the custodians of the cemetery as we walked among the graves, a quiet time in this spectacular resting place of the great dancer and choreographer.

To read more about Rudolph Nureyev, the biography Nureyev, the Life (2007) by Julie Kavanagh is spellbinding.



Rudolph Nureyev (1938-1993)
Russian Orthodox Cemetery
Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois

24 comments:

brattcat said...

wow. what a journey. what a destination.

Holly said...

I'm so glad that you & Peter made it there! The detail in the mosaic tile work is just amazing. I'd love to see it for myself sometime too, glad you now know the way. :-)

Peter said...

Holly: I don't know if we found the best way... but what was important was to be in good company! :-)

M said...

The colors and artistry of this mosaic work are absolutely stunning! I am so glad you went on this adventure and brought back such exquisite detail for us to enjoy. I think this post should be in green because vert is certainly my color right now ... So jealous :-)

Paris Paul said...

I'll go to bed less stupid tonight, as we say in French! Thanks for the lesson!

Thérèse said...

Etonnant ce kilim et fascinant!

Malyss said...

What a wonderful tribute , to a great man and a fabulous dancer.The trip was worth of it.

Starman said...

It certainly is a beautiful rug. I only ever saw Nureyev dance on TV.

Jilly said...

How fabulous this is. Absolutely beautiful. And lucky you seeing it with the delicious Peter.

Virginia said...

Oh I think you found the "pot of gold" at the end of your journey. Spectacular!
V

Bibi said...

That is totally gorgeous!!

Erika said...

C'est merveilleux et très intéressant ce que tu as eu la possibilitè de voir. Je te souhaite une belle soirée.

Hana de Prague said...

Oh, Genie, it´s fantastic! How gorgeous photos! I saw also the photos on Peter´s Paris and I´m sure I will go to see the cemetery, too. Thanks for sharing it!
Bises Hana

Kris said...

Genie,

I'm so glad you got to visit and see the cemetery and town for the resting place of Nureyev.

The rug is a beautiful piece of artistry...so detailed.

Thank you for the history lesson! Beautiful post!

Kris

Alexa said...

Wow! So glad you and Peter went hunting and brought back this wonderful treasure. I only ever got to see him dance in person once (Swan Lake—what an entrance he made!). This suits his flamboyant nature perfectly.

this is Belgium said...

Both you and Peter are so generous to share your discoveries and treasures with us !

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

It must be special for you to finally see it. The colours are incredible and bright. From what I've seen, all Orthodox Churches (Greek, Russian) are so gorgeous and ornate.

I should have thought Nureyev would have had such a beautiful tribute. He was, after all, such a beautiful dancer.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Thank you for your comments, and I will take you back to this quiet spot for a larger view of Nureyev's surroundings.

Enjoy your weekend!

Bises,
Genie

Jack said...

Beautiful, Genie.

Randy said...

Now that takes patience. So lovely!

tattina said...

An amazing gift! But Nureyev deserved it.

biebkriebels said...

This looks stunning!

Louise said...

What beautiful pictures- I had no idea about Nureyev's grave! I was too impatient to see the whole thing, I had to google it. I think your pictures are astonishing. What a wonderful day you two must have had.

Janey and Co. said...

Sounds like it was a days work...But what a treasure you have brought us. Thank you! Janey