“Classical technique is the basis, the foundation, for all our work at Paris Opera. Through this foundation they go beyond and show that dance is not some dusty old art form but relates to today. I see the art of the dance today.”- Brigitte Lefrèvre
Having taken over from Patrick Dupont in 1995, Paris Opera dance director Brigitte Lefèvre announces her retirement in 2014. Now it’s official! The succession period is open and the name new director will be announced in March by the Opera director Nicolas Joel. The 2014/2015 season programme is already in place and it is expected that the transition process will run smoothly and without great impact on the dancers’ lives.
There are rumors that Laurent Hilaire, shaped up by Nureyev, may be one of favourite candidates. However, the charismatic Nicolas Le Riche may also be considered for the role.William Forsythe and Alexei Ratmansky have already been mentioned by the media. Although they have created works for the Company, many find that the appointment of these choreographers will be unlikely.
Although Lefrèvre’s directorship included works created by great choreographers ranging from Serge Lifar to Wayne McGregor, Nureyev’s legacy still survives immortalised in his major productions such as Romeo and Juliet, Raymonda, Cinderella and of course the famous staging of La Bayadère.
In times of recession, whoever the new director will be, he or she will have great challenges ahead such as renewing the casting, filling in the auditoriums, reviewing the Company’s repertoire and investing in new talents, since ballet is responsible for generating a great share of the Opera revenue.