REVIEWS

Paris has always been a vast stage for dance styles, creativeness, courageous experiments and choreographic advances, a magnet attracting influences and new ideas. Paris has usually ignited the spark which then spread across Europe and the world at large. At the time when, after the World War II, Milorad Miskovitch stepped into that city from his youthful Belgrade dreams, immense artistic energy was concentrated in Paris. Young creative people, free at last, burned with the desire to express themselves in all branches of art and the art of dance wasted no time either to occupy a creative space of its own. Young ballet dancers gathered around Irene Lidova and at the time very popular dance pair of choreographers-dancers, Jeanine Charrat and Roland Petit. Lidova exercised big influence on their early careers and organised their first concerts in Paris in 1940. They were both direct successors to Lifar’s neoclassical style as they had been his pupils and dancers. They opened the door for a new movement in dance which was then followed by a whole generation of dancers and choreographers. In Les Ballet des Champs Elysées they were joined by “dancers of free spirit” as they were called then, who left the Paris Opera where the official Lifarian repertory ruled sovereign, aspiring to realise their modern ideas in Roland Petit’s company. The creative nucleus in his company which produced an incredible wealth of choreographies were Renée-Zizi Jeanmaire, Irène Skorik, Ethéry Pagava, Jean Babilée, Nina Virubova, Vladimir Skuratov, Colette Marchand, Natalie Philipart, Hélène Sadovska, Solange Schwarz. The librettist, writer and once Diaghilev’s secretary Boris Kochno and the French painter and designer Christian Bérard were the company’s co-founders. Jean Cocteau, philosopher, poet, playwright and painter offered his librettos and new ideas. Christian Dior offered them costumes. This was the company which Milorad Miskovitch joined in 1946. After a short while he left for London to join the Original Ballets Russes du Colonel de Basil and then the International Ballet de Monte Carlo Marquis de Cuevas. Shortly afterwards, however, Miskovitch returned to Roland Petit and his company and there, still very young, he created some of his dancing masterpieces. Great artists leave a mark on their time; their dance sets artistic standards, new parameters, new aesthetics. The critics in the daily and periodical press and professional journals diligently followed this artistic energy and expansion of the new dancers and choreographers of the 1950s. Wherever he appeared, alone or with a company, Miskovitch’s vertiginous and successful career was also watched by the critics and the press. Positive almost to the last one, their reviews confirm the greatness of his art and determine the place that belongs to him in the history of the French ballet in the latter half of the 20th century. Text after text about Miskovitch’s art strings descriptions and epithets: a dancer of crystal-pure classical technique, expressive, innately distinguished, divine plastic, a soul-inhabited body, a dancer of physical beauty, elegant lines, danseur noble, sophisticated, meaningful, confident technique, one of the greatest dancers, direct heir of Nijinsky and Lifar and so on and so forth.

Marija Janković

With a rare elegance and distinction, pure and handsome in his costume the colour of night, Miskovitch demonstrated the power of emotion which deeply moved the spectators…I should like to lay the emphasis on Miskovitch, his force, his truth adorned with such rare sense of proportion, such sense of harmony and that "which would be too much" that so many dancers lack and that Miskovitch has to such a high degree. (Antoine Goléa, Carrefour, Giselle, creation, Munich Opera, January 1959)

This is a noble dancer with the beautiful elegance of lines, the halo of poetry. He is the opposite of those sporting dancers who pursue effect at all cost, even at the cost of the performance. With him, the beauty of interpretation always prevails over the technical prowess. In his every movement there is "delight" which conceals the effort. The gesture is graceful, relaxed, flowing. One is easily seduced by the expression, not only of his face, but of his entire body (Jean Laurent, Dimanche variétés, Au Palais de Chaillot, Recital with Alicia Markova)

Milorad Miskovitch revealed to us an intensely poetic and virile nature. One understands that with that face worthy of a Renaissance painter, with that body of an athlete, he has often incarnated legendary heroes on the stage. His interpretation in a freer style of The Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun meant to us sculptural attitudes of captivating beauty, full of astounding force (Asaki, Tokyo)

Milorad Miskovitch is brilliant indeed. He possesses an accomplished technique whose precision amazes. The slightest position, the slightest gesture achieves perfection. His arabesques and his batterie are a feast for the eyes. (Abendzeitung, Munich)

Great artist in the most absolute sense of the word, he is one of those only too rare exemplary personages who are reluctant to accept compromises, easy publicity and mediocrity on stage. (J.F.Koenig, La Danse contemporaine, Fayard)

Miskovitch’s dramatic force and significance are mesmerising. Here is a dancer who can be an ardent and romantic Romeo just as well as Prometheus, rough and tragic like fate at one and the same time. .. A forceful work, with no shame, which at times attains a kind of sacred delirium... (Jean Laurent, Dimanche-matin, Paris)

The distinguished elegance of Miskovitch represents two schools of dance: a typical Slavic style and a style which is French through and through. He looks like a virtuoso but his technique is infused with strength and imagination which steer him away from academic paths. (La  Nazione, Florence)

What a remarkable Albert is Miskovitch! … Young, handsome, spirited, romantic, brilliant pas, elegant without pretence… a very great dancer with a style. (G.Schaeffer, Casablanca)

A personality which radiates, musical sensibility, technical feats of this great dancer transformed the ballet’s atmosphere. (Antoine Livio, La Tribune de Lausanne, December 1964)

Milorad Miskovitch (Yugoslavia, 1928), a Yugoslav of international renown. The noble appearance, dramatic acting, the outstanding technical quality and attractiveness of a romantic dancer make Miskovitch one of the best ballet dancers of his generation. (Dictionnaire de Danse, by Jacques Baril, 1964, Microcosme/ Ed. du Seuil)

Promethée by Maurice Ohana is both the chief work and the masterpiece in the programme. In it Bejart pursued a complete renewal of his style, resolutely adjusting his specific dramatic dynamism to a neo-classical ballet. (Jacques Bourgeois, Arts)

Great artist in the most absolute sense of the word, he is one of those only too rare exemplary personages who are reluctant to accept compromises, easy publicity and mediocrity on stage. (J.F.Koenig, La Danse contemporaine, Fayard)

Milorad Miskovitch, one of the greatest artists of our time, in the leading role. The characteristics of Milorad Miskovitch are a fascinating, sparkling temperament which, together with his outstanding dramatic capacity impart their incisive grandeur
to the personages he dances, and a fullness which goes further, transcending the plastic perfection, this is Mastery.
(Viggo Kjaer Petersen, Politiken, Copenhagen, 21 September 1965)

He danced with a dematerialised, ethereal and elusive illusion. And this quivering mirage of a fluid which he has succeeded to materialise, if one can put it that way, and make constantly present in his dance with Giselle, makes it one of our greatest
experiences in the art of ballet.
(Branko Dragutinović, Politika, Belgrade, Milorad Miskovitch Guesting, 7 November 1966)

Ballets 1957… they all have extraordinary talent, a powerful temperament… They are possessed of unusual joy and youth, combined with a superb technique…
(Passau Festival, Germany)

The Ballets des Etoiles de Paris, a small, young company of eight persons, is centred round the Yugoslav dancer Milorad Miskovitch, and under the art direction of Irène Lidova, who did so much to launch the young Roland Petit, Janine Charrat and others. It is an immensely sympathetic group, splendidly trained and rehearsed, versatile and with an enthusiasm that communicates itself to the audience. Rightly and wisely, because of its size, it has decided to present new works instead of potted classics. It has, however, yet to find a choreographer to extend the dancers artistically and to give it a character of its own. (Arnold L. Haskell, The Tablet, London, 28. June 1958;
Critics Columns)

Karl Marx… One of the greatest dancers of our times… a fascinating temperament, sparkling, blending an exceptional ability. He is a Master. (Politiken, Copenhagen)

The gods endowed Milorad Miskovitch with a face worthy of Michelangelo; classical purity and expression and natural nobility combined with a fine mind reflected in his every movement already permit, as we wait to see more of him, to crown him the rightful prince to the Court of Her Majesty Terpsichore. (Marie-A. Levinson, Opera)

Milorad Miskovitch oscillates between Erik Bruhn and Nureyev - what more can you ask (Svenska Dagbladet, Stockholm)

Milorad Mišković kako sedi sa tužnim pogledom Miskovic se klanja
Milorad Mišković leži zamišljen sa podignutim nogama