Dear Yvette Chauviré,
Your life is a dance score. Your name merges with the story of
dance, with its legend, so to speak. Your interpretations, especially
of Gisèle and Swan Lake, your creations, and your involvement in
your loyalty to the ballet. You have
embodied the dance, you magnified it by your will, by your beauty
and by your grace.
Universal body language, dance is your universe from your most
early childhood. Star among the stars, you are considered the
greatest French ballerina, one of the few star dancers to have
received the title of «prima bellerina assoluta».
Your outstanding career has earned you the most attention
choreographers. After joining the Corps de ballet de la
Opera Company in 1934, you had the pleasure of playing with
Rudolf Nureyev in Giselle (1949), before he entrusted you with the role of the
Countess in Raymonda. You also created the ballets of
Serge Lifar at both the Paris Opera and Monte Carlo. Your technique, your
and your grace have been repeatedly applauded in France and
abroad. Your life has been crossed by the greatest roles of the repertoire
that you have proposed on the biggest stages: the London Festival
Ballet, the Scala de Milan, the new Ballet de Monte-Carlo, the
I was pleased to hear that you’ve played in different movies,
embracing a rare cinematic career for a dancer
star. First of all, Jean-Benoît Lévy chose you for his magnificent
film, The Death of the Swan in 1937, then the comedy by Maurice Tourneur,
Fished youth. I remember seeing you in the wonderful
Fantastic Carousel by Ettore Giannini in 1954.
Your love of dance was fulfilled in the transmission of this art, in
Professor of the magnificent Marie-Claude Pietragalla, from
the bright Sylvie Guillem. Very soon, you become a technical advisor
and art at the Paris Opera where you give style classes. You
founded a French school at the Kyoto Dance Academy in Japan,
and you directed the International Academy of Dance. You didn’t
only been a shooting star but have left a deep trace in
the memory of the ballet.
Your reputation is such that you are an example to all
ballerinas in the making. A film, Yvette Chauviré, a star for example
has been dedicated to you and reflects your immense talent, this
talent that you have constantly developed. This life so rich and so
extraordinary, you left it in a very beautiful autobiography,
co-written with sculptor Gérard Mannoni.
Anxious to train, anxious to make better known the achievements of
your exceptional career, you offered in 2008 to the department
Performing Arts unpublished documents about your relationship to dance
and staging as well as a large number of costumes and
accessories. You have thus reconciled the requirement and the transmission of art
of ballet, of which you are one of the most solar and most
radiant of the past century.
On behalf of the President of the Republic and by virtue of the powers that we
are conferred, we make you Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor.