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Roland Petit

Dance legend. Dancer, director and choreographer

Villemomble, France 1924-Geneva, Switzerland, 2011

Dance legend, Roland Petit has been one of the key figures in the history of this art. Although representative of the most classical ballet that he studied, danced and choreographed from the beginning, Petit did not want to settle in a single dance style and is still remembered today for his eclectic choreography and performances. The last one was 73 years old, at which age he said goodbye to the stage as a dancer, during the performances of the National Ballet of Marseille at the Opéra Garnier in Paris. He was the Doctor Coppelius of the Coppelia that he set up in 1975, and was accompanied by the Spanish dancer Lucía Lacarra. He started studying Roland Petit when he was ten at the Paris Opera Ballet School, and six years later he was already part of the dance corps. At twenty, he left to form his own company, the Ballet des Champs-Elysées. There, first creations such as Les Forains (1945) and Le jeune homme et la mort (1946) came to light, a montage as admired as it was revised. Soon after, he created the Ballets de Paris and began to choreograph for important international companies. The Royal Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet and the Paris Opera Ballet, some of them. His choreographic legacy includes more than thirty works such as Carmen (1949), Le Loup (1953), Notre-Dame de Paris (1965), Camera Obscura (1994) and the musicals Daddy longs legs (1945) with Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron and Anything goes (1945), is just a sample of the contribution of this dance personality, a student of Serge Lifar, one of the last disciples of Diaguilev. Director of the National Ballet of Marseille, from 1972 to the beginning of 2005 (currently it is directed by Frédéric Flamand), Roland Petit has continued to be active until the end of his days, creating for different companies with varied profiles. Of his last great shows, the Pynk Floyd Ballet (2004) stands out, created on the music of the renowned band, and premiered by the Tokyo Asami Ballet.


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