Thursday, October 20, 2016

Yvette Chauviré : “Prima ballerina absoluta” – Obs

She has been dancing classical French that Maria Callas or Renata Tebaldi were singing. Basking in his time a huge celebrity that people no longer know the dancers-stars of today, Yvette Chauviré was, when she started dancing, and much more probably as soon as she entered the legend, the epitome of French art of the dance. For its grace, its elegance, its femininity, the perfection of a style. For its refinement. For its sense of theatre yet, and something more intangible yet that is the spirituality.

40 years of age to dance

She went off, almost centenary, Wednesday, October 19, 2016. And if those who have seen it happen on stage are more rare now, it is maintained from 1932, the date of his entry into the corps de ballet of the Paris Opera at the age of 15 years, up to 1972, the date on which she made her farewell to the stage at the Palais Garnier in the role of the innocent Giselle. Fifty-five years !

40 years to dancing. Including 31 years with the prestigious star status that was conferred by the Paris Opera in the middle of the war, in 1941, when Serge Lifar was ballet master, and that he had to endure the chairs of the orchestra to be flooded with uniforms nazis.

“Istar”to “Mirages”

Lifar, Yvette Chauviré was one of the performers of choice. Of him it creates a number of ballets, including “Alexander the Great” and “David triumphant” in 1937 ; “The Knight and the Maiden” (1941), during its recovery at the Opera in 1947 ;”Joan of Zarissa” in 1942 or “Suite en blanc” (1943, with two other great dancers, Solange Schwarz, and Lycette Darsonval.

Chauviré also creates the role of Istar in the ballet titled, who also sees the light of day in 1943, and earned him his appointment to star. Also, when Lifar is driven out of Paris Opera because of her attitude questionable with the German occupation, she resigned soon and follows him to Monaco, where he took the lead in the New Ballet of Monte-Carlo.

And when the choreographer is recalled to Paris to resume his position as ballet master (that is the title that we gave then to the director of the troupe as a choreographer), she returns with him for the creation of “Illusions”, a book in which the general was held in 1944 and the first not to follow in 1947. In the meantime, Paris has been liberated from the nazis and Lifar excluded from the Opera.

The quintessence of romanticism

But Yvette Chauviré shines perhaps even more importantly, in the title role of the ballet “Giselle” where it is revealed, in the words of those who have seen it, as the most perfect, the most lyrical of ballet flats romantic. A role she danced with Cyril Atanassoff as with Rudolf Noureïev. Of course, she interprets other major ballets in the repertoire : “swan Lake”, “sleeping beauty”, “Romeo and Juliet” or “The dying Swan”, both at Paris and on the major foreign stages.

And ballerina, she will remain all her life, carrying for a whole century this elegant fascinating, futile, and obsolete at the times that irise of the great figures of the classical dance. However, after having both danced, Yvette Chauviré does not leave quite the Opera. She teaches there, but the rank of the stars, that is to say, she passes on to those who bear the roles that she has interpreted. A film by Dominique Delouche made in 1988 and titled “A Star for example” revealed in this task a transmission of knowledge that spans the centuries.

We see it spreading its memories and knowledge to Isabelle Guérin, which will be beautifully the role of Istar. In 1983, Yvette Chauviré will return one last time as a performer on the stage of the Paris Opera in assuming the role, not danced to the Countess, Doris, in the ballet “Raymonda” that choreography Rudolf Noureïev. And we will review one final time in 1988, during a solemn tribute that is paid to him by the paris Opera Ballet. The French Republic had not forgotten his “prima ballerina absoluta,” the making of Grand Officer in the national Order of the Legion of Honour, Grand Cross of the national Order of Merit and Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters.

Raphael de Gubernatis


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