(b Paris, 15 Dec. 1927; d Paris, 29 Jan. 1993)
French dancer and teacher. He studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School and joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 1944 becoming the company's youngest ever étoile in 1946. A dancer of enormous strength, suppleness, and verve he was also an expressive dance actor. He created roles in many ballets including Balanchine's Palais de cristal, later Symphony in C (1947), Lifar's Nautéos (1954) and Romeo and Juliet (1955), and Cranko's La Belle Hélène (1955). In 1957 he toured Russia to great acclaim—the first major French dance personality to be invited there since Petipa. He left the Opera in 1959 and worked as a freelance choreographer for musicals, revues, and television, teaching at the POB School (1982–90). His many awards include Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (1975) and Prix Renaissance Descartes, Paris (1991).