Claude Bessy

(b. 1932)

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(b Paris, 20 Oct. 1932)

French dancer and ballet school director. After training at the Paris Opera Ballet School (from 1942), she joined the Paris Opera in 1945, and was promoted to étoile in 1956. She created leading roles in Lifar's Snow White (1951), Noces fantastiques (1955), and Daphnis and Chloe (1958), Cranko's La Belle Hélène (1955), and Skibine's Daphnis and Chloe (1959), while Gene Kelly created his Pas de dieux (1960) at the Paris Opera especially for her. She also made many television appearances and featured in Gene Kelly's film Invitation to the Dance (1956). From 1972 to 2004 she was director of the Paris Opera Ballet School. She also staged ballets for the Opéra Comique and the Comédie Française, and staged the dances for the musical My Fair Lady (1984). Published Danseuse étoile in 1961. Pavlova Prize (1961); Légion d'honneur (1972).

Subjects: Dance.

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