Chauviré, Yvette

Chauviré, Yvette

Chauviré, Yvette, 1917–2016, French ballerina. She joined the corps de ballet of the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1931, was made a principal dancer in 1937, and attained the rank of étoile in 1941. Chauviré worked closely with the company's director, Serge Lifar, and starred in several of his ballets, including Istar (1941), Suite en Blanc (1943), and Les Mirages (1947). She was most identified, however, with the title role of Giselle, which she danced for the first time in 1944 and in her last appearance with the company in 1972. In addition to her flawless technique, Chauviré was noted for her lyricism and classic line, influenced by two Russian teachers, Victor Gsovsky, who created Grand Pas Classique for her, and Boris Kniaseff. After she retired from the company in 1956, she danced as a guest artist with it and other major companies. Chauviré was one of the few ballerinas to be recognized as a prima ballerina assoluta.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chauviré, Yvette


Born Apr. 22, 1917, in Paris. French ballerina.

From 1927 to 1931, Chauviré studied at the Paris Opéra school, and from 1941 she was a leading soloist with the Paris Opéra Ballet. She also appeared with Les Ballets des Champs-Elysées, La Scala Opera Ballet, and the Festival Ballet. She was an outstanding representative of the French school of classical dance. Her dancing, highly refined and dramatic, was characterized by high mastery, a keen sense of style, and meticulous attention to detail. Chauviré became particularly known for her interpretations of contemporary works, such as one of the mirages in the allegorical ballet Les Mirages by Sauguet, and for her performances in other ballets of the choreographer S. Lifar, including d’Indy’s Istar and Leleu’s Nautéos. In the classical repertoire, her best role was the title role in Adam’s Giselle.

In the 1960’s, Chauviré was director of the Paris Opéra school. She made her last stage appearance in 1972, at the Paris Opéra. A prize named for her was established in France in 1972. Chauviré performed in the USSR many times.


la—balerina. Moscow, 1977.


Cuillot de Rode, F. Yvette Chauviré. Paris, 1949.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.