Fernand Nault (1920-2006)
Born in Montreal, Fernand Nault first studied dance with Maurice Morenoff and with other renowned masters in New York, London and Paris. From 1944 to 1965, he was a dancer, then ballet master at American Ballet Theatre, and also director of the company’s school in New York for many years. In 1965, he joined Les Grands Ballets as co-artistic director and resident choreographer. He helped the company take flight by creating astonishingly diverse works that span from classical to neoclassical, from contemporary to theatrical dance. His works include La Fille Mal Gardée, Symphony of Psalms, La Scouine, Carmina Burana and Tommy, as well as his famous The Nutcracker presented since 1964.
“I think the success of The Nutcracker is due to a combination of things: the children’s charm, a feeling of nostalgia for a more peaceful time, the innocence of young Clara, and finally the marvellous classical dancing set to the famous Tchaikovsky score.” — Fernand Nault
In 2011, Fernand Nault received the Médaille des Grands Artisans de la Révolution Tranquille, which was awarded to 50 artists and artisans who took part in the emancipation and promotion of Quebec culture – both nationally and internationally – in the 1960s.