(b Chatou, 4 Apr. 1932)
French dancer, teacher, choreographer, and director. He studied at the Paris Opera School under Gustave Ricaux and others (1942–6), graduating into the Paris Opera where he created a major role in Lifar's Septuor (1950) and was promoted premier danseur in 1952. In 1955, ambitious to choreograph his own work, he founded the Ballet de la Tour Eiffel for which he created several ballets including Solstice (mus. Wayenberg, 1955). He toured widely with the company until 1960 (also dancing as principal at New York's Metropolitan Opera Ballet, 1956–7) and was then director of the Ballet National Jeunesses Musicales de France (1963–8) with his wife Ghislaine Thesmar as ballerina. He created many works for the company including Hamlet (mus. Walton, 1964) and La Voix (mus. Leveillée, 1965) and also worked as guest choreographer for Ballet Rambert in 1966, creating Intermede (mus. Vivaldi) and other ballets. In 1972 he staged Taglioni's original La Sylphide for French television which was staged by the Paris Opera in the same year, followed by Coppélia, 1973. He has re-created many 19th-century ballets, based on research into original documentation, including Taglioni's Nathalie (Moscow Classical Ballet, 1980), Mazilier's Marco Spada (Rome Opera Ballet, 1981), a new production of Perrot and Coralli's Giselle (Ballet National de Nancy, 1991, orig. staged for Ballet du Rhin, 1978), and Paquita (Paris Opera, 2001)—though certain historians have contested their accuracy. Between 1985 and 1988 he was choreographer and associate director of Ballets de Monte Carlo creating L'Apprenti sorcier (mus. Dukas, 1985) and between 1991 and 1999 he was artistic director of the Ballet de Nancy, reconstructing Taglioni's L'Ombre for the company in 1993. His later reconstructions include a version of Pharaoh's Daughter for the Bolshoi in 2000 and a full-length Paquita for Paris Opera in 2003.