POB artistic director Aurélie Dupont sent an internal email to company staff and dancers on Sunday, explaining that she did not share Polunin's values and that the Russian-based dancer would not be guesting with the company during the upcoming run of Rudolf Nureyev's Swan Lake in February.
The Paris Opéra Ballet has remained mostly silent in response to the dancers' calls for reform. Photo courtesy Zipporah Films
You'd think the Paris Opéra Ballet would be in damage-control mode after a leaked dancers' survey, in April, brought up worrying reports of harassment and mismanagement. But instead of addressing these issues internally, the French company is suing one of its own dancers in order to strip him of his union representative status and subsequently be free to fire him.
Dalloz Actualité, a French online magazine specializing in legal matters, elaborated on the lawsuit in an article published last week. The corps de ballet dancer taken to court, whom we'll call "S." to protect his identity, wasn't actually a member of the Commission for Artistic Expression, the elected group of dancers who put together the survey. He is described as a "geek" who provided technical support to ensure the validity of the results.
A leaked survey reveals trouble at Paris Opéra Ballet. POB in Balanchine's "Emeralds." Photo by Agathe Poupeney, Courtesy Lincoln Center.
The #MeToo movement has made its way to France's biggest ballet company.
An anonymous survey recently leaked to the French press revealed major turbulence at the Paris Opéra Ballet. The Straits Times reports that the survey was conducted by an internal group representing POB's dancers. In it, there are numerous claims of bullying, sexual harassment and management issues.
Nearly all of the dancers (132 out of 154) answered the questionnaire, but they didn't know it would be made public. (Around 100 of them later signed a statement saying they didn't consent to its release.)
Alexander Ekman in rehearsal with Paris Opéra Ballet. Photo by Ann Ray, Courtesy POB.
"What does it mean to play as an adult?" This is the question driving Alexander Ekman's Play, a new work for Paris Opéra Ballet that marks Aurélie Dupont's first big commission as ballet director. Though his witty, irreverent work has found a home with ballet companies worldwide, Ekman's choreography has never before appeared on the hallowed Palais Garnier stage. With POB's extraordinary dancers and massive theater at his disposal, one thing is certain: This is going to be fun. Dec. 4–31. operadeparis.fr.
Diana Vishneva as Aurora. Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy American Ballet Theatre.
Mondays are hard. So is dance. And you know what's just really, absurdly difficult? The Rose Adagio. So for your #MondayMotivation this week, we present to you five famous ballerinas tackling that epitome of classical elegance, technique and deceptively straightforward choreography—because if they can conquer four suitors in the first act of The Sleeping Beauty (not to mention a ridiculously long balance in back attitude), you can definitely tackle this week.