1958 Epee Duel – France: Lifar vs Cuevas

In 1958 Serge Lifar’s ballet, Black and White, was being produced by George de Cuevas’ dance company. During a public argument (whether over the rights to the production or changes made to it in the production, we are unclear) Cuevas slapped Lifar in the face.

Lifar sent seconds to Cuevas to demand an apology, which he refused to do. Cuevas was 73 years old, and Lifar was 54 at this time, but a duel was arranged.  The gentlemen came together at Blaru near Vernon in Normandy on March 30, 1958.

After three passes taking approximately seven minutes, Lifar was lightly cut /scratched in the right forearm and the affair ended.

Over 30 newspaper photographers were in attendance and the New York Times reported it “may well have been the most delicate encounter in the history of French dueling.”

You can watch the duel with all the “exciting” commentary of the time.