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New corps de ballet members


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#16 flo

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:27 AM

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??

#17 cygneblanc

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 05:42 AM

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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#18 Estelle

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 06:34 AM

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...

#19 cygneblanc

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 06:48 AM

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.

#20 Estelle

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 07:51 AM

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.

#21 cygneblanc

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 07:56 AM

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!

#22 cygneblanc

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 10:41 AM

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 !

#23 Estelle

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 10:50 AM

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...)

#24 sophia

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:13 AM

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!

#25 Azulynn

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 12:44 PM

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, 06 July 2005 - 12:44 PM.


#26 sophia

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 09:47 PM

Ludmila Pagliero has been dancing at the Opera for three years, and she has proved her value during these years in many roles, so she has been kept and given a place in the corps de ballet. If she is a good dancer (people from outside can be as good as our french, you know...), I think it's perfectly normal. On the other side, Adam Thurlow was not given a place this year...
These people "from abroad", as you say cygneblanc, have to make more efforts than the others to stay at the Opera. I don't understand your contempt... Once more, the "foreigners" are not responsible for the Opera policy.

#27 cygneblanc

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:13 PM

What I've seen from Melle Plagliero hasn't convinced me at all and that's it. Maybe I'm blind after all.

I know people from outside can be as good, and I don't necessary approve the POB school methods. Thus, generaly speaking, I'm not pro french, and the ones who know me here know there isn't any problem.

The fact is there is a school wich is there for providing dancers for the POB. They are a lot of excellent girls and boys here which have to prove their value in some unbelievable conditions during a lot of years. And then, you are asking us to approve this policy of the POB that is to offer some contracts that should be given to kids school ?

If they were bad or if they were real lack of talent, that would be fine. That's not the case.


Miss Pagliero may have proven her value during three years but the girls from Nanterre have proven theirs during at least five years. I wouldn't have a problem if the contract was have been given to a foreign girl educated in Nanterre.

#28 Azulynn

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Posted 06 July 2005 - 11:51 PM

There's no guarantee that a good student from Nanterre will always be a good corps de ballet member. I believe the work between the school and the corps is quite different indeed. I agree that most students adapt (easily or not, I have no idea), but still, miss Pagliero has proved her worth in the corps and alongside the other girls who have way more experience. It wouldn't be fair to kick her out now.

Besides, not all girls spent 5 years in the school. Marine Ganio for instance arrived 2 or 3 years ago I think. (I've nothing against this young girl of course, I admire her for completing her education at the POB school, it's a great achievement, and I'd be glad if there were more places for her and others) Well, Ludmila Pagliero spent 2 years in the corps. And it must be just as challenging and the conditions must be just as hard for a surnuméraire who isn't sure she will be able to stay at the end of the year (not to talk of her previous schooling, which I don't know anything about). Isn't being a surnuméraire already quite a POB schooling with all the hard times it implies I think ? Besides, few of the surnuméraires from outside the POB are given steady contracts...

But I guess we'll just have to agree to differ, cygneblanc - at least it was interesting to see how differently one can see the situation. ;) I hope that a few girls will be given a surnuméraire contract, if that's their wish of course.

Edited by Azulynn, 06 July 2005 - 11:53 PM.


#29 Becca_King

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 06:50 AM

I'd like to ask some questions of the POB regulars here. Firstly, I take it that the students from the top divisions of the school (as well as the other divisions) are put in rank order. Is the director of the company obliged to admit into the company the student(s) who came top of their class? If so, does this make the selection of new corps de ballet members very fair and transparent, or is it still very subjective? How many people assess the students, and are they assessed mainly on technique, or on artistic elements which are, by nature, more subjective?

#30 sophia

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Posted 10 July 2005 - 09:32 AM

Competition to enter the corps de ballet and examinations are two different things.
At the end of every year, pupils, from the sixth to the first division, have to pass an exam. It decides of their future: they are ranked, some are kept, some aren't. In the first "division", examination can be compared to a degree.
At the end of their scholarship, when they are in the first "division", they are allowed to compete to enter the corps de ballet. Their rank at the exam doesn't count, even if, of course, it is known. That's not the director of the company who decides alone who he wants in the company, but a jury. They are mainly judged on technique.


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