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cygneblanc

New corps de ballet members

33 posts in this topic

The competition for the pupils of the school was today and here are the results:

Are admitted:

Girls : Eleonore Guérineau

Boys : Florimond Lemort and Daniel Stokes

Congrats to them and all my thoughts to the others, especially the girls :D

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Boys : Florimond Lemort and Daniel Stokes

One would assume - perhaps incorrectly - that Daniel Stokes is not French. Is this true and do you know for how long he trained at the POB school? It would be unusual for POB.

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He's french and he's from Nice (it's a city on the Cote d'Azur, in the south of the country). I think he has trained at the POB school during the last 6 years

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Thanks for the information. Could you explain the POB school system to me? I try to follow the French forum on another website and I gather that the students are put in rank order each year and on the basis of this can be moved up, asked to repeat a year or asked to leave? Can they only be asked to repeat once? I'm interested because I think the company's corps are just amazing and of course this is greatly due to the schooling.

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Each year, in order to move up, the pupils have to take an exam. If they are sucessful, they move up. Otherwise, they may be asked to repeat the grade or to leave.

You can repeat a grade several times during your time at the school, eg the 5th and the 3th. It's quite common.

Something else of very rare is you can be asked repeat the same grade two times. A girl had two do that for the 6th grade, and two others did it for the first one.

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cygneblanc, what happened to Marine Ganio Khalfouni and Marie-Astrid Casinelli?

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Marie-Astrid is second and Marine is fourth. They're going to try out today for a one year contract. I think Marine will repeat her first division in september, with Amandine, Lucie, Valentine and Claire.

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Thanks for the results, cygneblanc !

Could you tell us how many competitors there were for each gender ? It is frustrating to see that so few positions were available; I guess that for the girls, the fact that female dancers now can retire at 42 instead of 40 perhaps is one of the causes of the scarcity of positions (I don't criticize the reform itself, as such a difference of retirement age between men and women was not logical, but it is a bit sad if it means that some girls have to be "sacrified" during the transitional period).

Also do you know how many one-year contracts of "surnuméraires" will be available today ?

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Nine girls competed, and for the boys, I don't know exactly, I will tell that tonight when I'm at home.

And for the contracts of "surnumeraires", I can't tell something now, since a new brand of contract might be available this year. I guess we will know that tonight, the day is going to be long.

And for the girls, I'm very angry with the POB direction. They are so many of them which are excellent in the school and they are taking some girls from abroad I can't understand that !

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Nine girls competed, and for the boys, I don't know exactly, I will tell that tonight when I'm at home.

Thanks. One job for six competitors, that was a tough year !

And for the girls, I'm very angry with the POB direction. They are so many of them which are excellent in the school and they are taking some girls from abroad I can't understand that !

Could you precise what you mean by "taking some girls from abroad" ? Do you mean that some dancers who were not trained at the school were offered positions ?

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Yes and some from others countries from Europe, too.

It would be understandable if the there were a lack of talent in the school or if there were a lot contracts...But when you have so few contracts and so many talented girls in the school

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Who do you refer to, cygneblanc ? Girls that are already in the corps ? :rofl:

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Why that smiley?

I speak as a general matter, but if you wish an exemple, just take the one of the last year. And this year, it will probably be a girl who isn't from the school who will get the contract.

As far I'm concerned, it insn't right.

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Why that smiley?

I speak as a general matter, but if you wish an exemple, just take the one of the last year. And this year, it will probably be a girl who isn't from the school who will get the contract.

I was puzzled because the "foreigners" in the corps were mostly recruited some years ago, when there was probably a need for them because the retirement reform hadn't been passed yet (and at that time, there were at least two or three girls from the school who would get in each year I think). One of the current surnuméraires (I think there are Ludmila Pagliero and some others) might get a contract today, but if so the girl has been recruited a few years ago, and I don't think it's fair either to just tell the current surnuméraires to leave when they're doing a good job in the corps. After all it would be a shame to lose them as well if they've adapted well to the POB's style and proved their worth. It must be such a hard choice to make for the management.

Right now I think we can only blame the reform, which prevents the POB from taking more girls in the corps IMO. I think the balance was right before that and it should get better next year or the following year.

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It may be a shame to lose these surnumeraire but it is worse to lose some great talents from the school. These surnumeraire maybe proved their worth but pupils from the school proved theirs everyday during a lot of years. So there shouldn't be any questions, and if the POB wants to keep the school running with the current funding from the State, they should have a serious look at their politics of recruitment.

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I have a question about the exam the pupils take in order to move up (or repeat a grade). Is this an assessment of their ballet accomplishment, like the RAD exams, or is this something academic, or maybe a combination of both??

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No, it isn't someting academic. This is theorically an assessment of the ballet accomplishments. The grade they get at the exam is divided into two parts: one which is marking their work of the year and the other is marking how they performed at the exam. Each of this two marks is counting for 50% of the total.

But if something is wrong (the body, if the director doesn't like you..), then they can give you a low mark even if you're quite good.

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Yes and some from others countries from Europe, too.

It would be understandable if the there were a lack of talent in the school or if there were a lot  contracts...But when you have so few contracts and so many talented girls in the school

I think that the citizenship issue and the schooling issue are a bit different: I don't think that the country of origin of a dancer is a problem (after all there have been many examples of brilliant dancers from abroad, e.g. Eleonora Abbagnato or José Martinez recently), while the schooling is more important (though one could also mention some famous POB dancers who were not trained at the POB school, like Michaël Denard or Ghislaine Thesmar).

Also I agree that it is not very logical to train a lot of dancers and then to offer them almost no positions. Of course there are some other companies than the POB (and sometimes I find it a bit sad that most of the POB students seem to have the POB as their only purpose in life and no "plan B" in case they don't get there) but unfortunately, as there are fewer and fewer ballet companies in France, there also are fewer and fewer positions, and so the dancers either have to join modern/contemporary dance companies, or to go abroad (and then one might question the reason for all the subsidies given to the school by the state).

It would be interesting to know more about the hiring policy of the school in the last decades: how many POB school students were hired by the company directly, how many competitors there were each year, how many positions of "surnuméraires" were offered, how many surnuméraires got permanent jobs with the company, etc. It seems to me (but perhaps it's a wrong impression- I don't follow the company closely) that in recent years there have been fewer steady positions and more surnuméraire jobs; I don't know if it is just a consequence of the number of retirements each year, or if it is a deliberate policy...

The retirement age reform seems to have been unfortunate from that point of view- on the other hand, I don't think that it would have been logical to continue with such a difference in retirement age, and anyway it was considered as gender discrimination by some court...

Perhaps the POB direction should have asked for some extra budget to get one or two

extra jobs for the new students each year ? Of course this could cost a bit, but for example they did manage to find some extra money to give former director Hugues Gall his salary for several months (I've read the total was about 180000 euros for six months) after he actually stopped working (for some complicated matters of pension), so when there's a will there's a way...

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The citizenship wouldn't be an issue if these dancers would have been trained by the school. I can tell you there is a big difference in the training you get here and the one you get in other schools. Jose Martinez and Eleonora Abbagnato are the first ones to tell that!

Your impressions are right Estelle. There are more and more surnemeraire contracts and less and less steady positions.

But POB students were getting a lot of the surnumeraires contracts. That's not true anymore, especially for the girls.

I don't think there will be some extra budget for the POB in the next few years for steady positions.

They might have some CDI (some contracts without a time limitation) soon.

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The citizenship wouldn't be an issue if these dancers would have been trained by the school.

Yes, we agree about that. I wouldn't like the debate to sound like a question of French chauvinism ;)

But POB students were getting a lot of the surnumeraires contracts. That's not true anymore, especially for the girls.

I wonder which proportion of former POB students get jobs in other companies, and which proportion completely give up dance. In recent years, there were for example Mehdi Angot

who now is in the corps de ballet of the English National Ballet, Béryl de Saint-Sauveur and Maxime Thomas now are in the corps de ballet of the Scala of Milan, and also Fabrice Calmels (a bit older) who now dances with the Joffrey Ballet, but I haven't heard much about the others.

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There are a lot of sad stories :rofl: which can't be said on a public forum :) .

Edit: sorry, of course I wanted to say can't be said in first!

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Got some results by phone for the "surnuméraires":

"our" Daniil est third! Congrats. I don't remember the names of the others boys, except Allister Madin (6)

The girls :

1. Ludmilla Pagliero (what a surprise :rolleyes: )

2. Marine Ganio

3. Marie-Astrid Casinelli

4. Amandine Albisson

Claire Galdolphi, Lucie Fenwick, Julia Weiss, Cynthia Siliberto, Fanny Gorse, Valentine Colasante are behind but I don't remember the order.

Congrats to the girls who were in the first division this year, and both to Julia and Cynthia. You all deserved the first place ! Have a productive year in the corps or in the school for the youngest who will choose to repeat the 1st division !

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cygneblanc: how many surnuméraires of each gender got a position ? And do you know which girls will choose to repeat a year ?

Allister Maddin's low ranking is a bit sad considering that he received so many positive reviews at the school performances (but I never saw all those students, alas, having not seen the school performances in recent years...)

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Congratulations to Ludmila Pagliero TOO, who is also a real good dancer who deserves her place. And she is not responsible for the Opera policy! Of course, it is not a surprise, so what? She is talented even if she was not educated at the Paris Opera Ballet School.

Obviously, congratulations to Eléonore Guérineau I had seen in "Les deux pigeons": quite a phenomenon!

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Now some of the talented girls from the school (Marine Ganio, Marie-Astrid Casinelli, Amandine Albisson maybe ? depends on how many contracts they give) will probably get a chance to prove their worth in the corps as surnuméraires. It's quite fair since Ludmila Pagliero has already done so, and she deserves her place too (congrats to her !).

Of course it would be so much better if there were more steady contracts, but the situation is likely to get better and those who get a surnuméraire contract today might very well get a steady place in the future. Let's hope so at least, for I'm sure these girls really deserve it. :)

Edited by Azulynn

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