Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted with an impressive display of around 260,000 items, including costumes, stage props, set models, drawings, caricatures, programs, posters, albums of newspaper clippings, manuscripts, leaflets, records, scores, and even 18th to 20th-century paper theaters. These treasures bear witness to the rich history and evolution of theater and dance in Portugal and beyond.

The permanent exhibition at the Museum of Theater and Dance takes visitors on a captivating voyage through time, presenting the vibrant tapestry of Portugal's performing arts heritage. From the classical plays of the past to contemporary dance performances, every aspect of theater and dance is meticulously documented and celebrated. The exhibition showcases the evolution of stage design, costume trends, and the development of theater technology, offering insights into the creative process behind these art forms.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum hosts temporary exhibitions dedicated to renowned artists and theater companies. These exhibitions provide a platform to pay homage to the diverse and esteemed Portuguese stage artists who have contributed to the country's rich cultural legacy. Through these rotating exhibits, visitors can delve deeper into the lives, works, and influences of influential figures from the world of theater and dance.

One of the highlights of the Museum of Theater and Dance is its extensive costume collection. With approximately 2,500 costumes on display, visitors have the opportunity to marvel at the intricate craftsmanship and artistry that goes into creating these wearable works of art. From elegant period dresses to avant-garde contemporary outfits, the collection represents the diverse range of styles and eras that have graced the Portuguese stage.

The museum's library is another treasure trove for theater and dance enthusiasts. Based on the private libraries of prominent figures such as Amélia Rey Colaço e Robles Monteiro, Francisco Ribeiro (Ribeirinho), and collector António Magalhães, as well as the archival collection of the former Grémio dos Artistas Teatrais, the library boasts approximately 35,000 titles. It encompasses a wide range of literature on the performing arts, including plays, memoirs, theater criticism, and more. This invaluable resource offers researchers and scholars an opportunity to delve into the depths of theatrical history and theory.

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The Museum of Theater and Dance also serves as a vibrant cultural hub, hosting a variety of educational programs, workshops, and performances. These events aim to engage visitors of all ages and foster a deeper appreciation for the performing arts. Whether attending a lecture on theatrical techniques or participating in a dance workshop, visitors have the chance to actively immerse themselves in the world of theater and dance.

In recognition of its historical and cultural significance, the museum was renamed Museu Nacional do Teatro e da Dança in January 2015, emphasizing its expanded role in preserving and promoting both theater and dance. The museum's commitment to celebrating and preserving the legacy of these art forms has made it a cherished institution within Portugal's cultural landscape.

For enthusiasts, scholars, and curious visitors alike, a visit to the Museum of Theater and Dance in Lisbon is a captivating journey through the captivating world of performing arts. It offers a unique opportunity to explore the rich heritage of theater and dance, discover the creativity and dedication behind the scenes, and gain a deeper understanding of how these art forms have shaped and continue to shape our cultural identity.

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