Kyiv local who returned world prestige to French ballet

08/08/2014

There is a gravestone in Paris where one can read, 'Serge Lifar, native of Kyiv'.

After emigrating to France in 1923 a native of Kyiv Sergei Lifar could return the global prestige of French ballet.

He became an outstanding dancer and chief choreographer of the Paris Grand Opera (1930-1958), author of more than 200 ballets and divertissements in operas; theorist and teacher of ballet.

Founder of the Institute of Choreography at the Grand Opera in Paris, professor on history and theory of dance at the Sorbonne.

Honorary President of the National Dance Council of UNESCO, the French Academy of Dance, Dance rector, professor at the Higher School of Music.

None of the French artists got so many government awards as Ukrainian S. Lifar (Gold Medal of Paris, the most prestigious Legion of Honor).

Once after receiving the prize for achievements in ballet 'Golden shoe' Charles de Gaulle offered him to accept French citizenship but the Ukrainians replied, 'I am very grateful, Mr.President, for this offer, but I'll never be a Frenchman, as I was and I will stay Ukrainian'.

In Lausanne, where Serge Lifar died, there is a monument with the memorial inscription, 'Ukraine's present to its brilliant son in honor of his 100th anniversary'.


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