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Celebrate dance with the Paris Opera Ballet

The Défilé of the Paris Opera Ballet

Performed only at galas or special events, the Défilé of the Paris Opera Ballet, is a unique parade in the world of dance, designed to present the entire company under full stage conditions. The dancers arrive slowly from the depths of the dance Foyer (situated behind the set) approaching the forefront of the stage to greet the public, a procession that stretches back to a depth of 46 meters. This Défilé gathers together the one hundred and fifty four dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet: the Étoiles, the Premiers Danseurs, the Sujets, the Coryphées, the Quadrilles and one hundred or so pupils from the Ballet School, all united in a heritage of more than three hundred years of tradition.

The danseuses (female dancers) open the procession, followed by the danseurs (male dancers), and the entire ensemble proceeds in the following order: first of all the pupils of the Ballet School (the youngest, leading the way alone, inaugurates the Défilé), followed by the Quadrilles preceding the Premiers Danseurs. Then come the Coryphées (in rows of six), the Sujets (grouped in fours) and finally the Étoiles, who present themselves one by one, from the most recently appointed to the most senior.

Études

Études transposes a dance class to the stage. Conceived by Harald Lander who was a choreographer, ballet master and director of the Opera’s Ballet School, this ballet can be seen as a manifesto of classical technique, of its purity, rigour and exactingness.

The Nutcracker (highlights) 

When Tchaikovsky goes back to the realm of childhood, his music becomes suffused with enchantment and nostalgia as well as with nightmarish terrors. The fruit of one such voyage into the land of the imagination was music of incomparable lyricism and originality, evoking a dreamlike and sometimes disturbing world of whirling snowflakes, myriad flowers and dancing sugar plum fairies, and one of his most fabulous masterpieces.

On Christmas Eve, young Clara is given a wooden nutcracker shaped like a little man, which she clutches in her arms before sinking into a deep sleep. She then plunges into a strange dream in which lead soldiers, rats and bats do battle with each other. Guided by her little wooden hussar, now turned into prince charming, Clara overcomes the fears and doubts attendant on her new and previously unknown feelings. In Rudolf Nureyev’s version, this light-hearted tale becomes an initiatory epic. The Nutcracker brings the Company and the pupils of the Ballet School together in a veritable display of bravura.

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