With the passing of Violette Verdy at the age of 82, the world of dance is in mourning.
As a dancer above all, but also as a choreographer and director of companies, few artists will have established such strong – and faithful – bridges between France and America. From Roland Petit to George Balanchine, to Jérôme Robbins, the greatest choreographers on both sides of the Atlantic will have created for her roles that still make, today, reference.
It is still in the United States and France that Violette Verdy will develop the other facets of her commitment to dance. First, between 1977 and 1980, as dance director of the Paris Opera Ballet, where she was the first woman to conduct this prestigious house; then, between 1980 and 1984, as director of the Boston Ballet.
At the age of 82, Violette Verdy, a born teacher, continued to teach at the highest level, helping to spread the Balanchine method. A teacher in Bloomington where she lived, she had just, in 2015, hosted an internship in her hometown of Pont-l'Abbé, in Finistère.
She was a charismatic artist whose art and manner never ceased to be a source of inspiration for all dancers, generation after generation.