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#1 cygneblanc

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Posted 30 June 2006 - 04:21 AM

Amandine Albisson-Pivat and Matthieu Botto, both pupils of the POB school, won the first competition (the ones for POB's school pupils. Kudos to them :wink:

#2 cygneblanc

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 10:34 AM

Valentine Colasante and Yann Chailloux won the second competition today. Congrats to them :clapping:, All our thoughts are with the ones who weren't that lucky, especially Beryl de Saint Sauveur.

#3 bart

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 01:01 PM

Thank you, cygneblanc, for this information. I wonder if you can clarify just how these competition are conducted? who takes part? and what opportunities exist for those who are not offered a position at this time?

Does this competition fill the same place in the lives of POB students as the promotion competition does for Company members? We had a wonderful thread on that last December: http://ballettalk.in...showtopic=21251

#4 cygneblanc

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 02:40 PM

Well, there are two competitions each year in june. One said "internal" and the other said "external". Only pupils of the POB 's school last class (1st division) can try out for the internal competition in which only permanent positions are offered. If you get one of these position, then you have a job at the POB until you get retired at 42. Everyone, including pupils of the school, you and me, can try out for the external competition in which one year contracts, and sometimes permanent positions are offered.

Pupils from the school that aren't given a position after the internal competition are trying to get a one by taking the external competition to get either a one year contract or a permanent one.
Several cases can exist for students after the external competition:
-they won a permanent position and get into the compagny
-they'are offered a temporary contract but weren't repeating their year in the first division: they will repeat a year in the school in order to be able to try out again for the internal competition. They can't do this if they're going to turn 19.
- they'are offered a temporary contract and were repeating their last year in the school: they accept the contract or choose to go elsewhere
-if they aren't offered a contract: they have to look for a job, in France or abroad.

What is assesed here in France is the fact that some permanent positions are offered in the external competition to some dancers that aren't from the school while the field of the school is very deep and there aren't a lack of talent at all in the school and that so few permanent contracts are available.

And yes, the competition fill the same place in the lives of the students as the promotion competition for the corps members. They 're only dreaming of the POB and have been formated since their childhood for this day. For them, not being accepted into the compagny is a complete disaster, which is very sad :clapping:

#5 bart

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 03:27 PM

Thank you, cygneblanc, for that explanation. It sounds like there is so much pressure, though not more -- I suppose -- than our own rather disorderly mixed bag of applications, videotapes, auditions, recommendations, cattle calls, etc.

They 're only dreaming of the POB and have been formated since their childhood for this day. For them, not being accepted into the compagny is a complete disaster, which is very sad :clapping:

The ambiguous position of externals and temporary dancers in the company seems to be difficult. For me, some of the saddest and most moving moments in Tavernier's "Etoiles: Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet" had to do with those young dancers whose primary job seems to be to watch, practice, wait, and hope.

#6 cygneblanc

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Posted 01 July 2006 - 04:08 PM

Well, Bart, as for the pressure, in the american context, I would rather compare it with the pressure put on some kids of alumnis of a particular Ivy Leage University that are expected to be accepted in that University and get rejected.

Another documentary that was broadcasted in France and abroad through TV5 called A l'école desEtoiles (In the school of principals) featured the moment where the kids got the results of the internal competition. That was heartbreaking

#7 Estelle

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 02:29 PM

Thanks a lot for posting so much information, cygneblanc.

Are the lists of the students who competed for these competitions public ? Once again, the numbers of positions sounds very very low (only two for the "internal" competition !), especially as, if I remember correctly, four dancers were promoted from quadrille to coryphée at the last competition of the corps de ballet, so one could have expected more available positions...

I'm not familiar at all with the dancers of the POB school, but had attended a performance of the school this season, and there seemed to be such a wealth of talent among the students that it's sad to think that so few of them will get a position in the company. :jawdrop:

#8 Estelle

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 02:39 PM

Pupils from the school that aren't given a position after the internal competition are trying to get a one by taking the external competition to get either a one year contract or a permanent one.
Several cases can exist for students after the external competition:
-they won a permanent position and get into the compagny
-they'are offered a temporary contract but weren't repeating their year in the first division: they will repeat a year in the school in order to be able to try out again for the internal competition. They can't do this if they're going to turn 19.
- they'are offered a temporary contract and were repeating their last year in the school: they accept the contract or choose to go elsewhere
-if they aren't offered a contract: they have to look for a job, in France or abroad.


So, if I understand correctly, in order to be allowed to repeat the last year of the school, the students must be offered a temporary contract ? What do they do then, do they work only in the company for the temporary contract or do they also attend some classes at the school ?

What is assesed here in France is the fact that some permanent positions are offered in the external competition to some dancers that aren't from the school while the field of the school is very deep and there aren't a lack of talent at all in the school and that so few permanent contracts are available.


If I remember correctly, Claude Bessy complained a lot about it when she was the school's director... Does Elisabeth Platel protest about it too ? And what are your hypotheses about such a policy ? Is it because of administrative or financial reasons (perhaps temporary contracts are cheaper or something like that) ? Or that having people on temporary contracts is considered as a better way to "test" them during a whole year to know what they can do ? Or something else ?

And yes, the competition fill the same place in the lives of the students as the promotion competition for the corps members. They're only dreaming of the POB and have been formated since their childhood for this day. For them, not being accepted into the compagny is a complete disaster, which is very sad :jawdrop:


That's sad indeed... But as it seems quite obvious that anyway the number of available positions will always be smaller than the number of talented students coming from the school each year, I think that perhaps the students' families and their teachers should also prepare them to the idea that there are other valuable companies in the world than the POB (even though, unfortunatly, the number of ballet companies in France is getting smaller and smaller) and that they should consider auditioning for other companies and not thinking that not getting into the POB company is a shame... After all, there are several examples of former POB students (or former POB dancers who left) who had successful careers in other companies, and sometimes it can be more rewarding to get a soloist position in a smaller company rather than getting into the POB, remaining a quadrille for decades and dancing only corps de ballet roles... Surely being more realist before taking the competition would prevent some people to get severely depressed, and sometimes to give up ballet completely after years of hard work. And if the students aren't mature enough to change their attitude (which wouldn't be surprising as they are young teen agers), it should be part of their teachers' jobs to think about it, rather than train it only with the idea to get into the POB and considering that everything else would be a shameful failure...

#9 bart

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Posted 02 July 2006 - 05:47 PM

With so many talented ballet graduates at POB (and, I assume, at other fine ballet schools like the Paris Conservatoire), and so few ballet companies, wouldn't it be wonderful if someone in the French power structure had the idea of starting new regional ballet companies? Or creating regional POB's, like the Birmingham Royal? Or converting some of the former ballet companies BACK to ballet?

It's an odd policy that invests so heavily in the supply and the quality of workers, while simultaneously decreasing demand for their labor. Or am I missing something? :jawdrop:

#10 cygneblanc

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 01:36 AM

Estelle:
1) About the lists:
-for the internal competition, every student of the "1ere division" usually take part, unless they're so much injured they can't dance
-for the external competition, there isn't a public list published, but every pupils of the school that didn't get a position at the end of the internal competition usually compete, and a lot of former pupils too. If you watch the results of this year (only 14 names are provied), you'll see that 13 of this names belong to current or former pupils (including Fanny Gorse, Marina Guizien, Beryl de Saint sauveur, Marine Ganio)..

2) about being allowed to repeat a year in the schoo:
Sorry, for the misunderstanding. Students must not turn 19 before december 31. That's mandatory. Then, they aren't generally allowed to repeat the first division more than one time, unless exceptionnal circumstances (cases of Lauren Levy and Marie-Astrid Casinelli), but the decision belongs to Miss Platel; According to the written rule, they can repeat the first division as the meet the age requirement. What I have wanted to say is that students that aren't repeating their year and are offered a temporary contracts usually choose to stay one more year in the school..

More later..

#11 cygneblanc

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 02:39 AM

About an ventuel lack of talent: this isn't the case at all. And Estelle, four of the best girls weren't there in Lyon because they were dancing the Swan Lake in Paris..

-about the permanent contracts offered at the external competition:
Yes, Miss Bessy complained a lot about that, and although she was having a lot flaws, at least she was fighting for her pupils and their interests. I'm under the impression that Miss Platel doesn't fight for her pupils but she's still a young director and I guess her personality isn't as strong as the one of Claude Bessy.

Personnaly, I'm not in favor of that policy, because I think permanent contracts, at least for the quadrilles positions, should be given only to school pupils. But I also believe there should be a possibilty for giving some permament contracts to others dancers but only for some highest positions. But that would be a revolution!

Miss Lefebvre has already said in some interviews she believes it's good for the compagny to have a diversified recruitment. I disagree with that, because the main characteristic of the corps in Paris is its unifomity (or used to be ?). You can see the work of the corps isn't as good it used to be under Noureev, and it has to do to my mind with this diversified recruitment. And it has also to do with the relations between the school direction and the POB one, which aren't as strong as they were in the past. There are also some financial reasons. It's cheaper to offer some temporary contracts, and you can break them or not renew them easyly, which you can't do with the permanent positions..I believe there will be fewer and fewer quadrilles permament positions in the next years..
On the other side, the school costs a lot of money to the state, and the fact that the POB direction seeks dancers elsewhere is adressed, because legally the task of the school is to provide dancers for the POB..

Then, I agree totally with Estelle on students education but I'm afraid it's something that's easier to say than
to do..

And Bart, you're right about the policies. Unfortunately, I don't think there is only a one will to have another strong ballet compagny in France now, and that's sad :jawdrop:

#12 Helene

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 09:06 AM

Platel is facing the political realities of European Union law that were not applicable during much of Bessy's tenure. EU law dictates that rules of employment be relaxed, and the external contracts could very well meet these requirements.

#13 Estelle

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 10:21 AM

Thanks for the information, cygneblanc !

If you have enough time for it and if such information is officially public, could you post the lists
of candidates and the rankings ?

And Estelle, four of the best girls weren't there in Lyon because they were dancing the Swan Lake in Paris..


Actually I saw the program in Paris, not in Lyon...

Personnaly, I'm not in favor of that policy, because I think permanent contracts, at least for the quadrilles positions, should be given only to school pupils. But I also believe there should be a possibilty for giving some permament contracts to others dancers but only for some highest positions. But that would be a revolution!


Well, it happened more than 30 years ago when Ghislaine Thesmar joined the company directly as an étoile... But it was really long ago, and considering how hard it can be to get promoted in the company, I guess the dancers would probably be very unhappy with that.

I think it is good to leave some opportunities to dancers who were not POB-trained (after all, that was the case for some famous POB dancers, like Michael Denard and Jean Guizerix), but at the same time I agree with you that taking so few dancers from the POB school is a bit absurd, and probably detrimental to the style of the corps de ballet...

Then, I agree totally with Estelle on students education but I'm afraid it's something that's easier to say than to do..


Yes indeed... I wonder if one of the causes might be some sort of excessive pride from the POB dancers and former POB dancers (and therefore also the POB school teachers), thinking that they achieved the best and so getting into another company is a sort of shame. What a pity... And if only more publicity was given to alumnis who had good careers in other companies, perhaps the students would realize that there is more than one way to be successful. Also do you think that the students' parents generally are realistic from that point of view ?

And Bart, you're right about the policies. Unfortunately, I don't think there is only a one will to have another strong ballet compagny in France now, and that's sad :clapping:


Yes, France is becoming more and more a desert in terms of classical ballet, alas. :(

Helene, the EU rules might have an importance, but I've never heard anything about it (and if it was the real cause for such a policy, perhaps the company would have said it publicly when Claude Bessy was complaining, and sometimes even threatening to resign ?) And as far as I know, the POB school is open to non-French EU citizens...

#14 cygneblanc

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 12:39 PM

Yes, Estelle, I will post only the results list since the full list of candidates with more than 100 names isn't public (but the results are)

Internal competition
Girls
1. Amandine Albisson-Pivat
2. Louise Djabri
3. Valentine Colasante
4. Marie Piot
5. Jennifer Visocchi
6. Lucie Fenwick

Boys
1. Mathieu Botto
2. Yvon Demol
3. Jean-Baptiste Chavignier
4. Alexandre Gontcharouk
5. Benjamin Husson

External competition
Ladies
1. Valérie Colasante (graduate of this year class)
2. Fanny Gorse (2005)
3. Claire Gandolfi (graduate of this year class)
4. Jennifer Visocchi (graduate of this year class; probably will repeat her year)
5. Yui Ihari
6. Marie Piot (graduate of this year class; probably will repeat her year)
7. Marine Ganio-Khalfouni (2005)
8. Lucie Fenwick (2006)
9. Louise Djabri (2006)
10. Cynthia Siliberto (2003)
11. Lydie Vareilhes ( a case that will be settled by Miss Platel)
12. Marina Guizien (2005)
13. Béryl de Saint-Sauveur (2004)
14. Louise-Adélaïde Boucaud (graduate of this year class; probably will repeat her year)

Men
1. Yann Chailloux
2. Allister Madin (2005)
3. Jean-Baptiste Chavignier (2006)
4. Alexandre Labrot
5. Yvon Demol (2006)
6. Aubert Vanderlinden '(2004 ?)
7. Eris Nezha
8. Glyn Scott
9. Anatole Babenko
10. Quentin Roger
11. Claudio Cangialosi
12. Benjamin Husson (2006)


For the parents:
I would say a few of them are quite realistic, but not the majority. I guess it has something to do with the fact that the majority of the kids are from some very elitist backgrounds, and their parents ideas are very french in this way, a bit like "My son will enter the X school. If he doesn't, then he won't be my son anymore.."


The EU rules may have an influence, but I don't believe it's the main factor. The POB could be very well open the competition to everyone and then give only the positions to POB school trained dancers, french or not..That's not what they do..

#15 Estelle

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 12:56 PM

Yes, Estelle, I will post only the results list since the full list of candidates with more than 100 names isn't public (but the results are)


Thanks a lot. In the second list, which ones are POB alumni ? (Perhaps you could edit your post and mark it with a * or bold letters or something like that). There are a few names that I recognize, but I don't know well the list of POB students or alumni...

For the parents:
I would say a few of them are quite realistic, but not the majority. I guess it has something to do with the fact that the majority of the kids are from some very elitist backgrounds, and their parents ideas are very french in this way, a bit like "My son will enter the X school. If he doesn't, then he won't be my son anymore.."


Oh my. Poor kids... I saw a few people like that in another context (the classes préparatoires) and would be likely to say that it often produced children who were either extremely arrogant or extremely unhappy and lacking self-confidence... And also such an attitude can generate so much stress and anguish for some kids that it probably makes the competition even more difficult for them.


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