Serge Lifar and his ballet 'Icare' (1935)Serge Lifar choreographed 'Icare' in 1935 and danced the principal role at the premier with the Paris Opera Ballet at Le Palais Garnier on the 9th of July 1935.
In this black and white footage, we see the ex-Ballets Russes principal dancer prepare Attilio Labis for the title role in 'Icare'.
Lifar re-staged his ballet for the Original Ballets Russes for their 1939-1940 tour of Australia.
The sets for this revival were by Australian artist Sydney Nolan.
A percussive score was created and orchestrated for the ballet by Antal Dorati, based on rhythms devised by the choreographer.
Lifar believed that the choreography could come first and the music follow:
'The choreographer should create the scheme of dancing and the musician should then be asked to provide a score to fit that scheme' (Manifeste du choregraphe'))
Lifar only danced at the premier of 'Icare' on this tour, with Roman Jasinsky taking the title role for the rest of the performances.
In the next section of colour footage, we see Roman Jasinsky performing a section of the ballet with the Original Ballets Russes on that 1939-1940 Australian tour.
As I've said before, whatever one's opinion of Serge Lifar on any level, the footage is an historic record of a principal dancer from the Serge de Diaghilev era of the Ballets Russes.
1958 Epee Duel Lifar vs CuevasNewsreel footage of the famous epee duel between Serge Lifar and Marquis de Cuevas, with all the usual inane blather by the announcer that you would expect of the era.
Serge Lifar Ballet Director (1963)Paris, France.
Title reads 'Visages Contemporains - Serge Lifar'.
Elevated shot of behind the scene activity on ballet stage during performance. MS. Ballet Director Serge Lifar talking with Jean Cocteau. Various shots during rehearsals for ballet "Sunrise Song" with Lifar is directing. MS. Lifar posing under statue. Various shots of Lifar in a matador costume. CU. Still photograph of Russian astronaut Yuri Gagarin, tracks back to show selection of stills. Various shots of Lifar looking over some costumes in the wardrobe of the theatre. MS. Lifar starts to duel with swords with another man. Various shots of Lifar writing with quill pen. MCU. Ballet dancer tying her shoes. Various shots of the dancers practising with the help of Lifar. MCU. Lifar talking - natural sound, French. Various shots of the dancers twisting about. Various shots of the ballet dancers rehearsing under watchful eye of Lifar. Various shots of ballet dancer Serge Labisse getting some wings fitted by Lifar and starts to dance.
Date found in the old record - 08/04/1963.
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Serge Lifar - 'Blue Bird' Solo from 'The Sleeping Beauty'This is footage of Ballets Russes principal dancer Serge Lifar (1905-1986) performing part of the 'Blue Bird' Solo from 'The Sleeping Beauty'.
It was filmed in Monte Carlo in 1936.
Whatever one's opinion of Serge Lifar on any level, the footage is an historic record of a principal dancer from the Serge de Diaghilev era of the Ballets Russes.
I must say these days I probably take my position on Lifar from Olga Spessivtzeva, who, when asked her opinion of the dancer in an interview with Anton Dolin, diplomatically replied 'No, bad. Not good but not bad.'
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