Abbé Perrin (Director of...
Léo Staats was born in Paris in 1877 into a family of Hungarian heritage and trained at the Paris Opera ballet school under the guidance of Louis Mérante. Accepted into the Corps de Ballet in 1893, he was promoted to Premier Danseur and became the partner of Rosita Mauri and then Carlotta Zambelli. He produced a dozen ballets for the Opera, worked with the director Antoine and collaborated with Léon Gaumont to film dance. He also had artistic responsibility for several productions which were entrusted to him by Jacques Rouché at the Théâtre des Arts. After the First World War, Léo Staats became Chief Ballet Master at the Opera. He taught at the Paris Opera’s Ballet School and at the Ballet itself and arranged the dance sequences in several operatic works. He choreographed numerous productions, including La Nuit de Walpurgis and Ballet de Faust (1908), Cydalise et le chèvre-pied (1923) and Soir de fête in 1925 for the Étoile dancers Carlotta Zambelli and Olga Spessivtseva. He nurtured the talents of the youngest artists, including Camille Bos, Serge Peretti, and Jeanne Schwarz… In 1926, he created the famous Défilé du Ballet setting it to the music of “The Entry of the Guests” from Richard Wagner’s Tannhaüser. At the same time, he opened a school in the Rue Saulnier and was invited to the Royal Opera House in London as well as to New York. He died in Paris in 1952.
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