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The origins of the floor bar

Invented by the Russian choreographer Boris Kniaseff, this discipline was born when the latter, after having founded his dance school, learned that it was forbidden to attach bars to the walls, classified as historical heritage. To warm up his dancers, he invented new exercises. Inspired by classical dance movements, the bar on the floor is now experiencing tremendous popularity. Practiced on the ground without any accessories, this method relaxes the joints and develops the muscles in length. The bar on the ground makes it possible to gain in flexibility, to improve the posture of the body, and to remodel its silhouette.

La barre au sol de Boris Kniaseff

Boris Kniaseff in 1924 by August Albo

Boris Kniaseff is a French dancer , ballet master and pedagogue of Russian origin born in Saint-Petersburg on the 1st  July  1900 and died in Paris on the 7  october  1975 .

Trained in dance in his hometown, he emigrated in 1917, first to Sofia , then to Paris in 1924. He danced in the companies of Colonel de Basil , Bronislava Nijinska and at the Ballets des Champs-Élysées . He carries out a few projects with Serge Lifar .

Ballet master at the Opéra-Comique from 1932 to 1934, he opened a dance school in 1937 which notably counted among his students Yvette Chauviré and Ludmila Tcherina . At the end of the war he left to join the poetess and patron Susana Soca in Montevideo . In 1948 he will give lessons in his studio near the Ateneo, his floor bar method. He will find other dancers of Russian origin exiled in Uruguay. He will work in particular in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. On his return to Europe he will also teach in Switzerland , in his school in Lausanne, in Italy , in Greece and in Argentina .

In Russia he had married the prima ballerina Olga Spessivtseva .

His most notable work is teaching the barre à terre or ground bar technique. He had many students like Zizi Jeanmaire , Roland Petit , Dianna Asprogeraka and Jacqueline Fynnaert.

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