Lifar, Serge (sĕrˈgā lēˈfär) [key], 1905–86, Russian dancer, choreographer, director, teacher, and dance historian, b. Kiev. Lifar studied briefly with Bronislava Nijinska, but he was primarily self-taught. In 1923 he joined the Diaghilev's Ballets Russes in Paris, for which he became premier danseur in 1925. He created the title role in George Balanchine's The Prodigal Son (1929). Lifar choreographed and staged Stravinsky's Le Renard (1929), and after Diaghilev's death in 1930 he joined the Paris Grand Opéra as principal dancer and ballet-master (1930–44). Celebrated for having revolutionized the French ballet, he is best known for his ballets Lucifer (1948), Phèdre (1950), Romeo and Juliet (1955), and Daphnis and Chloë (1958). Lifar is the author of many books on the dance.
See his autobiography (tr. 1970).
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