Simon Chaput / OnP
The Ballet

Brigitte Lefèvre


Brigitte Lefèvre joined the Paris Opera Ballet School at the age of eight and entered the corps de ballet at the age of sixteen.
During her years at the Opera she studied with Yvette Chauviré, Gérard Mulys, Serge Peretti, Yves Brieux, Rita Thalia, Janine Schwarz, Serge Perrault and Raymond Franchetti, dancing in ballets by George Balanchine, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, Michel Descombey and Gene Kelly, as well as in the major classical works.
Interested from early on in different techniques of dance, Brigitte Lefèvre studied jazz with Gene Robinson and participated in numerous courses given by Alwin Nikolaïs, Merce Cunningham and Paul Taylor.

In 1970 she choreographed her first work, Mikrocosmos (to music by Bartok), for Jacques Garnier, Michaël Denard and herself. The ballet was presented at the Avignon Festival, in the Cour d’honneur.
She has also worked for the theatre and for musical comedy – in productions by Jean-Michel Ribes, Jean Mercure and Serge Peyrat at the Théâtre de la Ville.
She also created the choreography for La Révolution Française at the Palais des Sports in Paris and made her debut as an actress in the role of Lisa, in Dostoïevsky’s The Possessed , directed by Jean Mercure at the Théâtre de la Ville in Paris.

She left the Opera in 1972 to found the « Théâtre du Silence » together with Jacques Garnier. Situated in La Rochelle between 1974 and 1985, this was to be one of the first regionally-based companies in France. In addition to works by Jacques Garnier and Brigitte Lefèvre, the choreographies of Merce Cunningham, Lar Lubovitch, David Gordon and Robert Kovich came to enrich the company’s repertoire. They toured extensively (visiting twenty-one countries worldwide). Greatly interested in teaching, Brigitte Lefèvre gave both classical and contemporary classes within the company (which she directed single-handed from 1980 onwards), as well as running various courses.

In 1985, she was appointed Principal Inspector of Dance for the Ministry of Culture and, in 1987, promoted to General Inspector and Chief Dance Delegate.
In September 1992, she was appointed General Administrator of the Paris Opéra-Garnier and, in February 1994, Associate Director, Head of Dance. In August 1995, she was made Director of Dance at the Paris Opera.

Since her appointment, Brigitte Lefèvre has set out to create a living repertoire rhyming not only with the past and the present but also with the future.
Whilst reserving a special place for traditional works and the great classical ballets – including the productions of Rudolph Nureyev – she regularly includes in the Paris Opera season works that have marked the 20th century and invites contemporary choreographers to revive ballets or create new works. Hence, since 1995, several works have joined the Paris Opera Ballet's repertoire ( The Rite of Spring in 1997 and Orphée et Eurydice in 2005 by Pina Bausch , Glacial Decoy by Trisha Brown in 2003, La Dame aux camélias in 2006 and Troisième Symphonie de Gustav Mahler in 2009 by John Neumeier...) and numerous choreographers have created works for the company (Maurice Béjart, Trisha Brown, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jirí Kylián, Blanca Li, Wayne McGregor, Benjamin Millepied, José Montalvo, John Neumeier, Robyn Orlin, Roland Petit, Angelin Preljocaj, Saburo Teshigawara, Sasha Waltz…).
Brigitte Lefèvre is Vice President of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris, Administrator of the Centre National de la Danse (since 1998), and Administrator of La Société Radio France (since September 2004).
Brigitte Lefèvre has received the following honours : « Officier de l’Ordre national du Mérite », « Officier de la Légion d’Honneur » and « Commandeur des Arts et Lettres ».