September 25, 2021



Oleg Briansky, Star Dancer Turned Star Trainer, Is Dead at 91

Altering his stage name to Briansky, he joined Roland Petit’s Les Ballets des Champs-Élysées in 1946. There he satisfied Mireille Lefebvre, a Paris-born graduate of the Paris Opera Ballet school who experienced by now been a principal dancer in the Bordeaux Ballet. She was still regarded as Lefebvre when she and Mr. Briansky executed in New York in 1951 with Petit’s new troupe, Les Ballets de Paris. She became recognized as Mireille Briane following they joined Pageant Ballet in London, in which they married in 1953.

“Happy to Be So,” a 2008 documentary by the Russian-born American filmmaker Yelena Demikovsky that was a strike at Lincoln Center’s Dance on Digital camera Competition, explores why the Brianskys settled in the United States in 1963. “We grew to become academics,” he says in the documentary, simply because he had never fully recovered from a knee injuries when he was 19: “I danced on a lousy knee and it caught up with me. I had to stop dancing.”

Mr. Briansky amazed Princess Grace of Monaco, whom he met as dance adviser to “The Small children of Theater Avenue,” a 1977 documentary about the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet, of which she was a narrator. In 1979 she was the visitor of honor at a fund-raising benefit for the scholarship fund of the Briansky Center in Saratoga Springs — “because,” she informed The New York Times, “Oleg is a pal of mine and I’m a close friend of the ballet.”

While his career alter was not prepared, Mr. Briansky’s true legacy may perhaps properly be as a trainer. For many a long time he and his spouse taught at other universities, occasionally as visitor lecturers outside New York Town and overseas. From 1994 to 2006 they were creative directors of the Pennsylvania Youth Ballet and its college in Bethlehem, Pa. In the Demikovsky movie, he is demonstrated reaching out to the small children in a course there with mild humor, asking them to remember which is their proper foot and which is their still left.

Ellen Weinstein, who is now inventive director of the Countrywide Dance Institute, started by Jacques d’Amboise, recalled in a cellular phone job interview that Mr. Briansky was her initially ballet instructor, when he taught a weekly course in Binghamton, N.Y.

“Even as youngster, I understood I was in the company of greatness,” she said. “Oleg taught with joyful rigor.”

She later on attended the couple’s summertime school in Saratoga Springs. Noting that she now heads a dance software that teaches kids, she additional: “Oleg and Mireille experienced a dedication to excellence that was supportive and loving. Oleg experienced an influence on the program I took.”