L’École supérieure de ballet du Québec mourns the loss of a great ballet master, Mr. Daniel Seillier. For over four decades, he communicated his passion and know-how to several generations of dancers.
A number of his former students had the opportunity of expressing their gratitude to him at a tribute held on October 14, 2010. At this special event, which brought the dance community to L’École supérieure, the Balanchine studio was rechristened Studio Daniel-Seillier.
Here are a few of the testimonials contained in the golden book presented to Mr. Seillier on this occasion:
“Daniel Seillier was such a wonderful teacher for me because he believed in my talent, gave me hope that it really existed, and helped me see that my good qualities might do much more than compensate for my faults... Dearest Daniel, there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t remember and benefit from having known and worked with you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.” — Karen Kain, Artistic Director, The National Ballet of Canada
“You have given us the most precious gift: a love for what we do and who we are.” — Geneviève Guérard, ARTV host and former principal dancer with Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal
“Master Seillier not only taught us to dance with flair and truth, but also taught us about the tremendous responsibility that comes with being an artist in a modern society starved for inspiration, excellence and spiritual enrichment. He is and always will be the greatest influence in my life.” — Jean Grand-Maître, Artistic Director of the Alberta Ballet
After graduating from the Paris Opera Ballet School, Daniel Seillier launched his professional career in 1942, going on to join the Grand Ballet du marquis de Cuevas ballet company in 1951. Ten years later, he founded the National Ballet of Portugal. Then in 1963, Madame Ludmilla Chiriaeff, founder of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal and L’École supérieure, invited Mr. Seillier to Canada as a ballet master. In 1965, he left to teach at the National Ballet School of Canada, returning to Montréal in 1980. For close to 20 years, he trained the dancers of L’École supérieure. Daniel Seillier was awarded the Order of Canada in 1993. In 2008, at the age of 82, he retired from teaching.
“We wish to recognize the legacy of this great master who shaped the history of our institution, and to extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Olga as well as to his sons, Alexandre and Stéphane,” stated Anik Bissonnette, Artistic Director of L’École supérieure de ballet du Québec.
Visitation will be held on Saturday November 3, as of 18:00. A Funeral Service will follow at 20:30 at Mount Royal Funeral Complex, 1297 Chemin de la Forêt, Outremont, 514 279-6540.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Daniel Seillier Fund, created by L'École supérieure de ballet du Québec and intended to offer study grants to students who distinguish themself in classical ballet.