Roland Petit

Ballet Dancer and Choreographer
Born Jan 13, 1924

Roland Petit was a French choreographer and dancer born in Villemomble, near Paris, France. He trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet school, and became well known for his creative ballets.

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1924 Birth Born on January 13, 1924.


1940 16 Years Old Petit was born in Villemomble, France an area near Paris, France. Petit trained at the Paris Opéra Ballet school under Gustave Ricaux and Serge Lifar and began to dance with the corps de ballet in 1940.


1945 21 Years Old He founded the Ballets des Champs-Élysées in 1945 and the Ballets de Paris in 1948, at Théâtre Marigny, with Zizi Jeanmaire as star dancer. … Read More
1946 22 Years Old Le jeune homme et la mort (“The Young Man and Death”) of 1946 (libretto by Jean Cocteau) is considered his magnum opus and it is also his most well-known work; the choreography and the costumes are of astonishing modernity.
1949 25 Years Old In his 1949 ballet Carmen, he made an unusual use of the en dedans, while he gave a non-figurative treatment to Turangalîla.


1954 30 Years Old In 1954, Petit married the dancer Zizi Jeanmaire, who performed in a number of his works.


1993 69 Years Old His memoirs were published in 1993 under the title J'ai dansé sur les flots (English: I Danced on the Waves). … Read More
1994 70 Years Old In 1994, he was awarded the Prix Benois de la Danse as choreographer.
2011 88 Years Old Died on July 10, 2011.
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