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Serge Lifar


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Serge Lifar was Diaghilev's last big star dancer.

He wrote about a million dance books, not all of the 100% reliable, particularly when it's about Lifar's relative importance in the general scheme of things.

Particularly distressing is the story of Lifar and Boris Kochno fighting over Diaghilev's body, the minute he had died.

Speaking of which, Lifar also insisted Nijinsky be reburied in Paris (shipping his body from London) so that eventually Lifar could be buried beside Nijinsky. He had bought the plot in the Montmartre cemetery thirty years in advance. On second thought, however, Lifar preferred to be buried in the Russian cemetery just outside Paris, near Nureyev's grave.

On the plus side: he was the Paris Opera Ballet AD from 1930 - 1952. (Balanchine had also been a contender, in which case there would not have been a NYCB etc.)

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Here are a few links about Lifar:

(in French)

http://www.cndp.fr/balletrusse/portraits/lifar.htm

http://www.danceworksonline.co.uk/sidesteps/people/lifar.htm

http://www.abt.org/education/archive/chore...rs/lifar_s.html

(in French)

http://www.universalis.fr/corpus.php?dref=255&nref=T400811

Unfortunately, very few of his choreographies still are performed. The Paris Opera Ballet, which he had directed for years, hasn't performed anything by him for years (I think the last work of him that was performed was "Suite en Blanc" around 1996 or 1997, plus something during a homage to Chauviré a bit later), except by the POB school. He was born in 1905, but no homage was done for the 100th anniversary of his birth, and I don't think anything is planned for the 20th anniversary of this death in 2006. He was indeed a controversial character with a huge ego and a tendancy to cast himself a lot (well, from that point of view there were some similarities with another Russian POB director a few decades later :grinning-smiley-001: ) and there still are debates about his attitude during WWII, but he undoubtedly improved the level of the company and I find it very sad that his heritage is neglected so much.

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