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Paris Opera Ballet: Romoli and Belarbi's retirements

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According to some recent official communiqués from the POB, the étoiles Kader Belarbi and Wilfried Romoli will retire soon (both are 45).

Wilfried Romoli, will retire on May 6, after performing the "Phlegmatic" variation of Balanchine's "The Four temperaments", and exceptionally in Angelin Preljocaj's "Un trait d'union" with Laurent Hilaire (already retired, but who will come back for that special occasion). Born in 1963, he joined the POB school in 1973 and the POB in 1979. He became a coryphee in 1982, sujet in 1983, premier danseur in 1989 and finally an étoile in 2005 (probably the oldest promoted étoile in the POB's history... Many thought that it should have happened much earlier).

Kader Belarbi, born in 1962, will retire on July 13, after a performance of Carolyn Carlson's "Signes", he will also dance soon in Mats Ek's "La Maison de Bernarda" (April 26- May 11). He joined the POB school in 1975 and the POB in 1980, became a coryphee in 1984, a sujet in 1985, a premier danseur in 1988 and finally was promoted to étoile by Rudolf Nureyev in 1989.

Both have had quite large repertories, as can been seen on their biographies on the POB web site:

http://www.operadeparis.fr/Biographie.asp?id=216

http://www.operadeparis.fr/Biographie.asp?id=267

They are said to be good friends (sometimes giving interviews together) and often were cast in the same roles. In recent years, Belarbi performed less often, focusing mostly on modern dance roles, and also on his own choreographies (most notably "Wuthering heights" for the POB- in which Romoli premiered the role of Hindley).

I have especially fond memories of them in Robbins' "In the Night" (Belarbi in the second pas de deux, Romoli in the third), of Belarbi in Ek's "Giselle", Taylor's "Speaking in Tongues", Balanchine's "Jewels", Lifar's "Les Mirages", Massine's "Le Tricorne" and of Belarbi in Robbins' "The Concert" and "The Cage" and Balanchine's "Four temperaments", they also were wonderful in a video of Jacques Garnier's "Aunis"... Thanks Wilfried and Kader for all those wonderful memories :)

I guess that now Belarbi will work mostly as a choreographer. I don't know what are Romoli's plans...

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Although I'm not their greatest fan, I'll have to acknowledge they'lle be missed. Romoli has a most often a very interesting and personal approach to his parts while I will remember Kader Belarbi mostly as a choregrapher. His "Hauts de hurlements" was the best creation we saw during the last few years.

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Although I'm not their greatest fan, I'll have to acknowledge they'lle be missed. Romoli has a most often a very interesting and personal approach to his parts while I will remember Kader Belarbi mostly as a choregrapher. His "Hauts de hurlements" was the best creation we saw during the last few years.

I regret that Belarbi danced less and less at the POB, I wish I had had more opportunities to see him in the ballets

of Roland Petit, for example (and also in Lifar, but anyway there has been so little Lifar to see...)

It was interesting to listen to Romoli's interviews in Nils Tavernier's POB documentary, he sounded like a very articulate and interesting person.

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Won't this also be Manuel Legris' final season with the POB? I understand that he will be retiring after the La Dame aux Camelias performances this summer.

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It looks as Manuel Legris will still be dancing with PON next year :smilie_mondieu:

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Great !

The retirement rules are a bit complicated now (with a sort of transitional period between the male dancers retiring at 45 and those retiring at 42, as the rules changed a few years ago)... Good to know that Legris managed to get a few more months.

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I'm very happy to have seen Romoli perform Phlegmatic twice in his final run of performances. I found him to be extremely expressive: his upper body spoke volumes.

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It looks as Manuel Legris will still be dancing with PON next year :smilie_mondieu:

According to an interview just published, Legris says he will be staying through the POB 2009 season, and will exit with Cranko's Onegin.

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