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Manuel Legris' farewell performance


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#1 cygneblanc

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 12:31 AM

The last night belong now to history. Manuel Legris was the last POB’s principal still dancing who was promoted to the etoile position by Rudolf Nureev.

The performance was certainly on stage but also in the audience. A lot of etoiles were there, including Monique Loudieres, Claude Bessy, Noella Pontois and (I wondered if I had a vision) Sylvie Guillem!!! The audience also included the former prime minister Edouard Balladur and the current minister of culture Christine Albanel.

The night began by the Defile. The most applauded principals were Isabelle Ciaravola, Dorothée Gilbert and Mathias Heymann. The music couldn’t be heard anymore when they took their bows. It has to be noticed that Mathieu Ganio and Laetitia Pujol marched, so that means they will be seen on stage very soon since according to French law you can’t march if you’re injured and can’t dance otherwise.

The cast was exceptional. Lenski was danced by Mathias Heymann. It was very symbolic since he’s the youngest etoile now and the last one promoted. He usually dances with Myriam Ould Braham, who played Olga yesterday. This pair always works very well and there was no exception. Both were fresh, young and precise. Mathias Heymann is probably the biggest star of tomorrow. He’s very noble and and very musical. His partner deserves to be promoted, too.

The main pair was danced by Clairemarie Osta and Manuel Legris. Both of them were sublime, especially in the pas de deux of the last act. While I think it took them some time to get into their parts, they became better and better. The last act was really poignant. Clairemarie Osta could display all her artistic skills and showed what an exceptional artist she’s. It’s amazing how Manuel Legris can look young while being quite old for a dancer. He clearly gave everything he had and exploded near the end.

At the end, there was a 20 minutes standing ovation but I felt it was less emotional than for Elisabeth Maurin’s farewell performance.

Tons of etoiles came on stage to congratulate Manuel Legris who took some bows with them individually. I was so moved to see Noella Pontois, the idol of my childhood, on the Garnier Stage again. Monique Loudières was particularly cheered by the audience. She’s always so beautiful. I regret that Sylvie Guillem stayed in the audience. She clearly had her place on stage with her peers. Claude Bessy choose to remain in the audience, too. She was given what is known as the best seat in the balcony. Good for her, everything she did for the school and the compagny needs to be recognized. Another very moving moment was when Laurent Hilaire and Manuel Legris bowed together.

The last legend of the Nureev’area is now gone. I hope that the youngest generation will write another brilliant pages of POB’s history.

#2 Rosa

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 09:13 AM

Thank you for the report, cygneblanc.

#3 toeprints

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 06:43 PM

This was a wonderful review. Thank you. It's hard to imagine that it is the end of an era at the POB. Nureyev certainly had outstanding vision in his etoiles.

#4 cygneblanc

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:44 AM

I have some pictures which aren't that bad, but how could I put them here ?

#5 chiapuris

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:45 AM

Thank you cygneblanc, for writing so movingly of this historic evening.

#6 Estelle

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 05:54 PM

The last night belong now to history. Manuel was the last POB’s principal still dancing who was promoted to the etoile position by Rudolf Nureev.


What a great evening it must have been...
Of course, I'm green with envy! :wub:

Is it already known when Manuel Legris will come back as a guest star ?
But I guess that within a few months he'll be busy as the director of the Vienna Opera Ballet...

It has to be noticed that Mathieu Ganio and Laetitia Pujol marched, so that means they will be seen on stage very soon since according to French law you can’t march if you’re injured and can’t dance otherwise.


I didn't know about such rules... Had they been injured for a long time ? (Poor Mathieu Ganio seems to have been injured quite a lot since his promotion a few years ago...) Were some étoiles absent from the Défilé ?

That's the end of an era for the POB... But the previous generation still is quite influent, as teachers and ballet masters.

#7 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 06:01 PM

I have some pictures which aren't that bad, but how could I put them here ?

Cygneblanc, just open an account in flickr, and post the pics there. Then post the link to the pics webpage here. That's how I do it. Hope this helps! :wub:
http://www.flickr.com/

#8 cinnamonswirl

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Posted 17 May 2009 - 08:24 PM

There's a video of the curtain calls up on Youtube now. The title is "Paris Opera Ballet - Manuel Legris'goodbye - Les adieux de Manuel Legris" if you want to search for it.

#9 Mashinka

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 01:45 AM

I would like to add my thanks to Cygneblanc too for such a wonderful description of Legris's farewell. Sadly I was unable to go myself, but did manage to see him as Onegin last month dancing with the same cast as described. They were all quite wonderful. I wish Legris well in Vienna but really feel that his departure from Paris marks the end of an era.

#10 cygneblanc

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 02:20 AM

Manuel Legris will guest in 15 days when he dances Charlus in Proust.

Stéphane Phavorin and Dephine Moussin were absent from the Defile, although Stéphane Phavorin was in the audience. Eleonora Abbagnato was dancing in Italy.

Laetitia Pujol hasn't danced for a while but it was for an excellent reason and not because of an injury (there wasn't any official announcement though). Mathieu Ganio's condition is more worrying since it seems that he has some chronic injuries.
I believe he danced in the Bejart's tribute.

I'll try do do something with the pictures tonight.

#11 Estelle

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 04:13 AM

Laetitia Pujol hasn't danced for a while but it was for an excellent reason and not because of an injury (there wasn't any official announcement though). Mathieu Ganio's condition is more worrying since it seems that he has some chronic injuries.
I believe he danced in the Bejart's tribute.


Thanks for the explanation, cygneblanc. It's nice to see that in recent years several POB principals have been able to babies and continue their careers (Dupont, Osta, Moussin...)

I'm looking forward to seeing your photos.

#12 bart

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Posted 18 May 2009 - 06:20 AM

Thank you, cygneblanc, for bringing us your impressions of this wonderful event.

And thanks, cinnamonswirl, for discovering and posting the information about the YouTube video. The poster identifies many of those on stage. Here's the direct link. There's a striking coup de theatre at 1:09 minutes. :wub:



#13 cygneblanc

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 12:49 AM

http://www.kommersan...x...42&stpid=21

A few pictures. Mine are coming :thanks:

#14 Marc Haegeman

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 03:58 AM

My review of the evening at danceviewtimes

#15 cygneblanc

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Posted 24 May 2009 - 04:11 AM

Wow Mark, thanks a lot, this review is just brilliant.


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