Serge Lifar

Ballet Dancer and Choreographer
Born Apr 15, 1905

Serge Lifar (15 April [O.S. 2 April] 1905, Kiev, Ukraine) – 15 December 1986, Lausanne, Switzerland) was a French ballet dancer and choreographer of Ukrainian origin, famous as one of the greatest male ballet dancers of the 20th century.

related links

News + Updates

Browse recent news and stories about Serge Lifar.


Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of Serge Lifar.


1905 Birth Lifar was born in Kiev, Russian Empire. His year of birth is officially shown as 1904 (as on a 2004 Ukrainian stamp commemorating his centenary), but there is good reason to believe it occurred in 1905.


1921 16 Years Old He was the pupil of Bronislava Nijinska in Kiev. In 1921 he left Soviet Union and was noticed by Serge Diaghilev who sent him to Turin in order to improve his technique with Enrico Cecchetti.
1923 18 Years Old He made his debut at the Ballets Russes in 1923 where he quickly became a principal dancer.


1929 24 Years Old He played the lead roles in the ballets of George Balanchine and at the death of Diaghilev in 1929 he entered the Paris Opera Ballet and created his first ballet.
1930 25 Years Old From 1930 on, Serge Lifar was immensely successful, essentially in his own ballet creations, notably with Les Créatures de Prométhée (1929), a personal version of Le Spectre de la rose (1931) and L'Après-midi d'un faune (1935), Icare (1935) with costumes and decor by Picasso, Istar (1941) or Suite en Blanc (1943), which he qualified as neoclassical, all created for the Paris Opera. … Read More


1986 81 Years Old He died in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1986, aged 81. … Read More
Original Authors of this text are noted on
Text is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.