2 3 Throwback Thursday and the Paris Opera Ballet | Ballet Webb

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Throwback Thursday and the Paris Opera Ballet

Throwback Thursday and the Paris Opera Ballet

Created during the reign of Louis XIV, what became the Paris Opera Ballet started with the founding of the Academy of Dance in 1661. The King decreed that this school would be free and no tuition would be charged. Its aim was to train and promote the perfection of dance. Admission would be through a selection process, and this method exists today in many renowned dance training facilities throughout the world.

However, at the end of the Romantic Period, the school began to have problems, due in part to the fact that ballet’s popularity had spread, especially in Russia. It managed to survive due to the efforts of dancers like Marie Taglioni, Carlotta Zambelli, Alber Aveline and Jacque Rouche who directed the company from 1914 until 1944. Earlier, in 1930, Serge Lifar became the company’s director and dancers included Marjorie Tallchief and George Skibine (see today's video link).

Today the Paris Opera Ballet remains as one of the preeminent ballet companies in the world, and as of August 2016, its director is Aurélie Dupont, a former dancer with the company. Here is what she says about her new position:

I look on my tenure from the perspective of a woman, a French dancer, and the exponent of an ambitious yet generous project. For me, it’s about finding the right balance between the company’s illustrious past and its future at the epicentre of French innovation. It will be period of constant development both in terms of the classical and the contemporary. There will be an uncompromising emphasis on excellence, to further enhance the Company’s international reputation. Of course, the dancers and the young generation, at the very heart of my project, will be its driving force.”

From the Big Blue Book of Ballet Secrets:
Dance History Factoid #128:  
“The Paris Opera Ballet is the oldest surviving ballet company in the world.”

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Quote of the Day:

“Only small minds want always to be right.”
- Louis XIV

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