Asaf Messerer

Asaf Mikhailovich Messerer (Russian: Асаф Михайлович Мессерер, November 19, 1903 - March 7, 1992) was a highly influential Soviet ballet dancer and ballet teacher. He was born in Vilnius, Lithuania. From 1919 until 1921 he trained as a dancer at the Moscow Bolshoi Ballet School. He then joined the Bolshoi Theatre, where he became one of its most important principal soloists, a position he retired from in 1954.

Today Messerer is best remembered as a choreographer and an instructor; he was both the choreographer and ballet master for the Bolshoi Theatre. His book Classes in Classical Ballet is a thorough study of proper ballet technique and is still used today.

Messerer was the brother of Sulamith Messerer and Rachel Messerer and the uncle of Maya Plisetskaya, Alexander Plisetski and Azari Plisetski, as well as of Mikhail Messerer. He was married to silent film star, Anel Sudakevich (Russian: Анель Судакевич). They had one son, Boris Messerer (Russian: Борис Мессерер). He won multiple awards from the USSR and from Lithuania.

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