Bonjour and Au Revoir to Paris Opéra Ballet

July 22, 2012

The Paris Opéra Ballet has come and gone. This famed company made an impression of loveliness and beauty, and many of us appreciated the history lesson of the first “French” program showing works by Lifar, Petit, and Béjart. The different casts of their Giselle (the ballet was made on POB in 1841) were watched carefully. As I wrote in my last “Dance Glance,” I was very moved by the cast I saw, with Isabelle Ciaravola as Giselle.

But many Americans felt that the dancing in general was a bit sterile. The perfect unison of POB’s corps comes at a cost of freedom and individuality. Of course there are some exceptions, and one of them is Marie-Agnès Gillot. Our cover story reveals some of the facts of her life and how she turned her “monkey arms” into the bold, expansive style that sets her apart. As Eurydice in Pina Bausch’s Orpheus and Eurydice, she brought an emotional depth that I did not see elsewhere on the stage.

In this photo, she playfully takes the position of Eurydice that was used for the banner at Lincoln Center during POB’s run there. —Wendy Perron