Serge Lifar Museum (under construction)

Lyfar Museum , На етапі створення
  • Lyfar Museum
  • At the stage of creation
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  • Culture, Sculptures
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The Serzh Lyfar Museum is a branch of the Museum of the History of the City of Kyiv, organized in 2019. 

Serzh Lifar (Сергий Михайлович Лыфар, fr. Serge Lifar, fr. Serge Lifar; March 20 (April 2) 1905, Pirogov, Kyiv County, Kyiv Province, Russian Empire - December 15, 1986, Lausanne, Vaux, Switzerland) - Ukrainian ballet dancer and choreographer, known as one of the greatest dancers of the 20th century. He was the founder of the Academy of Dance at the Grand Opera, the rector of the Institute of Choreography and the University of Paris Dance, the honorary president of the UNESCO World Dance Council. Contemporaries called him "the god of dance", "the good genius of ballet of the 20th century". During 26 years of work at the Opera, Lifar trained eleven ballet stars.

Serhiy Lyfar was born on March 20 (April 2), 1905 (according to other sources, on April 2 (15), 1904) in the then suburb of Kyiv, in the village of Pyrogiv, or in the village of Vita-Litovska, in the family of Mykhailo Yakovych Lyfar, a forester's assistant at the Trypilsko-Vityan Forest Service, and his wife Sofiya Vasylivna Marchenko. In the record book of the Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross of the village of Pirogov, whose parishioners were the Lyfar family, there is a record of his birth on March 20 and baptism on April 10, 1905. The Lyfar family had deep Cossack roots. Later, Serhii Mykhailovych recalled how, while visiting his grandfather in Kanev, he listened to stories about the heroic past of Ukraine and looked at "yellowed, faded certificates with wax seals that were awarded to the Lyfars by Ukrainian hetmans and chieftains of the great Zaporizhzhya Army." In 1913, Serhiy went to study at the Imperial Alexander Gymnasium. Later, he continued his studies at the 8th Kyiv gymnasium. The boy was endowed with a fine musical sense. Since childhood, Lyfar sang in the church choir of St. Sophia Cathedral, took violin lessons from Professor Voyachek, attended piano class at the Kyiv Conservatory. But a meeting with Bronislava Nizhynska, the sister of the then famous dancer Vaclav Nizhynsky, was decisive in his fate. It was her Kyiv ballet studio "School of Movement" that became the first step to the heights of fame for 17-year-old Serhiy. Ukraine and Kyiv remained Lyfar's bright dream until the end of his life. "Even beautiful, brilliant Paris could not force me, a Kyivan, to forget my wide, majestic Dnipro," he said. When, presenting the Legion of Honor, Charles de Gaulle once again offered him to become a citizen of the country and addressed him: "Monsieur Lifar! You have done as much for France as few famous Frenchmen. Isn't it time for you to become French on your passport as well?". Lifar replied: "I am sincerely grateful, Mr. President, for your offer. But I have never been and never will be French, because I am Ukrainian and my homeland is Ukraine." He remained the owner of Nansen's passport, a "stateless person" - he could not renounce his roots, ancestors, the land where he was born. Already excommunicated from the theater, he once came to the Grand Opera in a vyshyvanka, and then shared his most cherished dream: "I dream of returning to Ukraine. However, unfortunately, no one knows me at home, and in France they have forgotten me." Oles Ilchenko recalled that Valery Parsegov, who was familiar with Serzh Lyfar, told him that Lyfar emphasized his Ukrainian origin in his conversation with him.

The museum is at the stage of creation and search for the appropriate premises, because it should become a platform for supporting modern choreography and performance, development of ballet and theater criticism. As well as an artistic space and a platform for exchange between experts from the museum, art, theater, and creative spheres in Ukraine and abroad.

The issue of the museum's premises needs to be resolved as soon as possible through the joint efforts of caring Kyiv residents, museum staff and the Kyiv city administration. 

Serzh Lyfar is an extraordinary extraordinary personality, a native of Kyiv and a brilliant dancer who managed to conquer European stages, a ballet master, teacher, collector, whose fate reflects the dramatic pages of Kyiv and European history of the 20th century.

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