Iacob (pronounced "Jacob") Lascu, a celebrated dancer, choreographer and ballet master, was born on March 19, 1926. He left his native Romania in 1972 to live a freer life as an artist of Jewish birth. He and his wife Maria and their son Eugen settled in Detroit, Michigan, where he gradually re-established himself as a premier teacher, choreographer and director. For twenty years, until 1997, he coordinated the annual holiday ballet, "The Nutcracker," with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Iacob was a lead dancer with the National Folk Ensemble Rapsodia Romana and a former dance instructor of the Romanian National State Ensemble Ciocarlia which toured the United States, Canada, England, France, USSR, China, and many other countries.
He founded, instructed, and led the dance ensemble Romanasul of the Pioneer Palace in Bucharest, a group that won many first place medals in international competitions.
For ten years, Iacob was a professor of folk dance at the School of Choreography in Bucharest. Many of over a hundred choreographies are still being staged today and have won top prizes at various international festivals and competitions.
Iacob studied classical ballet, character dance, and folklore in his native Romania with Floria Capsali Dumitrescu. He also studied with the Russian masters Ivan V. Kirilov and Igor Smirnov, of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow.
He chorographed "Coppelia," "Rhapsody" by Rachmaninoff, and Gershwin's "Concerto in F" for "Dance Detroit" in 1991-92. He joined the Oakland University faculty to teach ballet in the Department of Physical Education. He also choreographed for the Nonce Dance Ensemble, The Festival Dancers of the Jewish Community Center, the Toronto Regional Ballet, and the Michigan Opera Theater.
Iacob published three choreographies and a book of folk dances for youngsters.
His wife, Maria, who died of cancer in 1988, for many years was a lead dancer of the Ciocarlia troupe. Iacob died on May 22, 2004 at the Hospice of Michigan in Farmington Hills at 78 years old.
Iacob's articles and publications include
- Two Lives in Two Worlds. Bloomington, Indiana: Authorhouse, January 2003. 256 pages. Softcover.