Let's dance on the roofs of the Opera Garnier in Paris
On the 17th February 1960, during the intermission of the ballet Daphnis and Chloe by Maurice Ravel, André Malraux gave Chagall the Palais Garnier ceiling to create. "I was disturbed, touched, moved..." these were the artist’s words on the opening day, 23 September 1964.
A beautiful place for beautiful shows
Over 50 years later, the feeling is just as strong for anyone who enters the Paris Opera. The performance doesn’t just take place on stage, as shown in the beautiful film Haut Vol by Louis de Caunes, it is all around and all the time: in the walls designed by Charles Garnier in 1861, in the room built as a hymn to Napoleon III style, in the chandelier, the staircase, the dome, behind the scenes, but also on the roof that overlooks Paris.
Léonore Baulac and Allister Madin, both formidable dancers that won the Award 2014 AROP (Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opéra de Paris), allow us to experience a few seconds in their shoes: the enjoyment of dancers, rehearsals, and their concentration before going on stage... We share their stage fright when the curtain rises, their joy from the first steps onto the stage, and then their dream of flying away, head in the clouds!
But as we know, one doesn’t just become a dancer, especially one at the Paris Opera. So we resume our role as spectator and revel in the program designed by Benjamin Millepied. Stéphane Lissner, the director of the National Opera of Paris, entrusted this famous dancer with the position Director of Dance, anticipating his unique and daring talent.
In September, Boris Charmatz’s 20 dancers for the 20th Century (20 Danseurs pour le XXe siècle) met all expectations: it is a double journey - physical and mental – thought up by the choreographer, that in the Palais Garnier and in the 20th Century, through 80 solos to discover in every corner of the Opera, everywhere but the stage!
A fantastic programme
For its first season, Benjamin Millepied wanted to offer originality through classic, traditional pieces. So, Iolanta / the Nutcracker, shown in March, will offer both an opera and a ballet all in one evening. April will mark the return of Maguy Marin with her influential creation from 2002, One Can't Eat Applause (les applaudissments ne se mangent pas), meanwhile the season will close with William Forsythe, whose work has continued to evolve through the years.
Next season will enchant us one again with choices from Benjamin Millepied, before discovering the 2017 program composed by his successor, the wonderful Aurélie Dupont. Having bid farewell to the stage as a dancer in May 2015, she was appointed in February 2016 as Director of Dance at the Opéra National de Paris. We warmly welcome her, and long live this House of 300 years!