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Laurent Hilaire appointed ballet master


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#1 Estelle

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 09:10 AM

http://fr.news.yahoo.../202/4al61.html

The POB principal Laurent Hilaire, ages 42, has been appointed Ballet Master.
He will join a team which already included the Ballet master in chief
("maître de ballet associé à la Maison de la Danse") Patrice Bart,
another ballet master Clotilde Vayer (former première danseuse),
and four assistant ballet masters (former sujets Fabrice Bourgeois
and Viviane Descoutures, former premier dancer Lionel Delanoë, and
Malin Thoors).

The article also says that he will not be an étoile any longer, but that he will continue
performing as an "étoile invitée" (he will dance the role of Tybalt in Nureyev's
"Romeo and Juliet" next June).

So there are now 7 male étoiles (J.G. Bart, Belarbi, Ganio, Legris, Le Riche, Martinez, Romoli) and 6 female étoiles (Dupont, Gillot, Letestu, Maurin, Osta, Pujol). But Belarbi and Romoli, who are from the same generation as Hilaire, will retire within two or three years at most, and Legris a bit later. Also Elisabeth Maurin will retire in June, after a last performance in "Romeo and Juliet", and the première danseuse Karin Averty will retire then too, also after dancing Juliet. So soon there won't be any dancer left from the étoiles of the Nureyev generation... :)

Laurent Hilaire already didn't dance very often in the last few seasons, and was more and more involved in coaching, so that change isn't very surprising. I hope that he will still have a farewell performance when he turns 45, as such performances generally are very moving, and he has a lot of fans...

I wonder if there will be some other promotions soon (especially as Gérard Mortier's policy seems quite different from his predecessors')...

#2 Helene

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 09:23 AM

It really is the end of an era -- all of the dancers I saw during the Paris Opera Ballet's New York visit in the mid-eighties are retiring. Hilaire and Averty were my favorite dancers from those performances

#3 Estelle

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 10:56 AM

Yes indeed, it's the end of an era... But well, they won't be totally absent, as some of them will be ballet masters (Hilaire, Delanoe) and also some teach at the POB school (including Elisabeth Platel who is its new director).

By the way, in which roles did you see Hilaire and Averty ?

#4 Naoko S

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 04:30 PM

Thanks Estelle for the news. I'd like to congratulate M. Hilaire for getting the appointment for an important and prestigeous role at POB and wish him all the best in the new endeavours.

It hasn't come as a big surprise, actually .... over the last few years in a number of interviews he constantly made it very clear that the time was right for him to shift his energies and time more to coaching younger generations; it appeared he found it truly appealing and worthwhile job, coaching. His determinations to convey the spirit of Nureyev seemed rock-solid, and often it was very moving to hear someone who benefitted from a great encounter with a ballet giant of the last century genuinely wished to pass onto the future generations what he had gained through precious experiences. (But then it's not only Hilaire - "Nureyev's Children", the group of exceptionally gifted dancers including Jude, Loudieres, Platel and Hilaire himself, seem to share the strong views or beliefs; they are destined to advocate what Nureyev had taught them - it's their missions!)

Having said that it would be a great loss not only for POB but for the ballet world if this decision would further reduce his appearances as a perfomer. Inevitable, perhaps, but I do believe he still has strong will and passions to dance - the evidence of which I witnessed not so long ago, in last summer - and continue coming back on stage if the repertoire was right. AND we certainly shouldn't let him go without allowing us to bid proper farewell!

#5 Helene

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Posted 25 February 2005 - 11:24 PM

By the way, in which roles did you see Hilaire and Averty ?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I saw Hilaire in Swan Lake, Washington Square, and the First Movement of Palais de Cristal, the Bizet with Karin Averty. I loved them in it. I also saw Averty in Fourth Movement of PdC.

#6 Estelle

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Posted 26 February 2005 - 02:42 AM

Having said that it would be a great loss not only for POB but for the ballet world if this decision would further reduce his appearances as a perfomer.  Inevitable, perhaps, but I do believe he still has strong will and passions to dance - the evidence of which I witnessed not so long ago, in last summer - and continue coming back on stage if the repertoire was right.  AND we certainly shouldn't let him go without allowing us to bid proper farewell!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I agree with you ! Well, the small article did mention he'd continue performing as an "étoile invitée", so there still is some hope to see him on stage. However, he already performed less and less, and not so often in classical roles... And I wonder if he'll dance something else than Romeo and Juliet this season.
But for example, if "Liebeslieder Walzer" will be danced again (I hope so, as it has been danced only one season so far, and it was in an ill-conceived program in my opinion, with three modern works), I do hope that he'll dance it again.

hockeyfan, thanks for your answer. I guess that Karin Averty was not far from becoming a principal then, but she was in a generation with many extremely talented dancers, and never got promoted, even though she was given quite a lot of principal roles. (Also, in more recent years, she was absent for more than one season because of an injury). I saw her last season in the Choleric movement of "The Four Temperaments" too, and liked her in that role.
Actually, it will be her first Juliet... She might be a bit old for that, at 42, but that's a nice gift from the direction to end her POB career !


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