miliosr

Millepied to Head Paris Opera Ballet

Who Should Succeed Madame Lefevre?   35 members have voted

  1. 1. Who Should Succeed Madame Lefevre?

    • Carolyn Carlson
      0
    • Frederic Flamand
      0
    • William Forsythe
      0
    • Sylvie Guillem
      0
    • Laurent Hilaire
      6
    • Nicolas Le Riche
      2
    • Manuel Legris
      23
    • Wayne MacGregor
      0
    • Benjamin Millepied
      2
    • Alexei Ratmansky
      2

Please sign in or register to vote in this poll.

102 posts in this topic

10 choices -- from the sublime to the ridiculous. You only get one vote. Happy voting!

Share this post


Link to post

I voted already! Manuel Legris, for many reasons...

I had chosen Legris too, Cubanmiamiboy - he seems the most obvious good fit. Guillem would be an interesting choice, but I don't think she necessarily has the all the managerial skills, and perhaps temperament, to run a large company. Forsythe, MacGregor, Ratmansky - all interesting to think about, but I have to believe they want to stay close to the art of choreography, rather than spend their time in arts management and 'human resources'.

Share this post


Link to post

Another Legris vote here, Parisians I've spoken to believe he would steer the company back in

in the direction of classicism. Surprised Kadar Balarbi's name isn't listed though.

Share this post


Link to post

Legris was smart to leave when he did and manage the company in Vienna. Didn't POB have to emergency borrow some of his dancers for DQ this week?

Share this post


Link to post

Surprised Kadar Balarbi's name isn't listed though.

No other reason than keeping the voting options at a manageable length. I also didn't include Pina Bausch (via seance)! wink1.gif

Legris was smart to leave when he did and manage the company in Vienna. Didn't POB have to emergency borrow some of his dancers for DQ this week?

Interesting. If true, is the Opera so thin on-the-ground in terms of pure, classical dancers that they have to import them from up the road? The Opera certainly doesn't seem to have a problem casting the modern/contemporary works Madame Lefevre loves so much.

Given the vote count as of Monday evening, I see an interesting dynamic shaping up with Legris and Hilaire 1-2 in terms of vote-getting. If Legris gets the nod, does Hilaire stay? It certainly would be humiliating for him to be passed over when he was the "company man" who held the classical end of the company together during the Lefevre era.

Share this post


Link to post

Legris was smart to leave when he did and manage the company in Vienna. Didn't POB have to emergency borrow some of his dancers for DQ this week?

Interesting. If true, is the Opera so thin on-the-ground in terms of pure, classical dancers that they have to import them from up the road? The Opera certainly doesn't seem to have a problem casting the modern/contemporary works Madame Lefevre loves so much.

According to the schedule, Maria Yakovleva and Denys Cherevychko from Vienna danced on 11/24, 11/27, and 12/3. From what I've read they were short notice substitutes though for whom I am not sure.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think there's a shortage of classical dancers at POB; however, sometimes a number of them are dancing the contemporary works.

Do people think that Legris has the upper leg because of his administrative experience in Vienna?

Share this post


Link to post

I don't think there's a shortage of classical dancers at POB; however, sometimes a number of them are dancing the contemporary works.

There may not be a shortage of classical dancers at the Opera but there may be a shortage of (a) classical dancers who have been trained up to the demands of carrying a full-length ballet, and/or an overabundance of (b) classical dancers (particularly etoiles) who only want to dance the one-acts. How else to explain having to provide coverage from outside the troupe? (Does the hierarchy come into play with who can and cannot dance leads in a full-length? If so, the hierarchy is counterproductive in this instance because the company wound up importing dancers from Legris' Opera-in-exile.)

Some of it may have been poor planning and bad luck -- trying to mount two dozen+ performances of Don Quixote and the William Forsythe/Trisha Brown program side-by-side while dealing with who knows how many injuries.

Share this post


Link to post

Injuries have certainly come into play. There is a distinct shortage of Basilios this year. Lots of Kitris. Josua Hoffalt, Mathias Heyman and Stephane Bullion, all etoiles who would presumably have danced Basilio, are injured. Mathieu Ganio, not initially expected to dance, had to be drafted in as a last minute sub. But that still has left poor Karl Paquette (one of the weaker Basilios, IMO) scheduled for 13 performances with 3 Kitris - Ludmila Pagliero, Dorothee Gilbert and Svetlana Zakharova (who was announced as a guest ages ago). Plus, Pierre-Arthur Raveau, a sujet dancing Basilio, only managed 1 performance before pulling out due to injury.

Hierarchy also plays a role. Instead of importing principals, they could have given more performances to, say, Mathilde Froustey, who made a ravishing debut (as expected). But she's sujet, and so not entitled to as many performances as premiere danseuse, who entitled to as many as an etoile (assuming their are any who want the role).

That said, POB is notorious for having injuries up the wazoo this time of year. They insist on performing contemporary and classical works at the same time, ignoring the strain on dancers' bodies from switching between the two styles. The administration knows that. So, the wisdom of doing 25 performances of Don Q, a strain on even a large company like POB, PLUS the Forsythe is questionable at best, IMO.

Going back to Lefevre's sucessor, I do think Legris has a bit of a leg up on Hilaire given his administrative position in Vienna. He's done a very nice job with the company.

Share this post


Link to post

Well I think it's definitely poor planning. It's always the same in December and it can be worse as the winter is not so bad until now and illness has not yet added to injuries. But it's also bad luck because Bullion and Magnenet who were on Don Quichotte are usually injury free and very reliable on classics. They saved Swan Lake and Cinderella the two past years. Some Premiers danseurs are also injured. I think Thibault was supposed to dance at first...

However, no one really understand why only two Etoiles (Bullion and Paquette) were originally on Don Quichotte... They only called Ganio when Bullion was injured, to back up Paquette, I guess just in case to partner Gilbert for the live broadcast and Zakharova in the event of Paquette being unable to dance...

I don't think all the Etoiles are needed on this Brown/Forsythe bill... It's really a pity to see Le Riche, Bélingard or Moreau dancing about 10 minutes in Garnier while Paquette is labouring 2 hours on a half 12 times in Bastille... Well Nureyev Basilio is really hard to dance and some Etoiles might be too old or too fragile... or simply not willing to take the risk...

Regarding the topic, I don't feel Legris has proven much imagination in Vienna, it's more or less copying what has been done in Paris the past years... Perhaps someone outside the company will give a fresh input more than needed?

Share this post


Link to post

But that still has left poor Karl Paquette (one of the weaker Basilios, IMO) scheduled for 13 performances with 3 Kitris

It's really a pity to see Le Riche, Bélingard or Moreau dancing about 10 minutes in Garnier while Paquette is labouring 2 hours on a half 12 times in Bastille

All of which speaks to Madame Lefevre's apparent lack of a conscience . . .

Share this post


Link to post

But that still has left poor Karl Paquette (one of the weaker Basilios, IMO) scheduled for 13 performances with 3 Kitris

It's really a pity to see Le Riche, Bélingard or Moreau dancing about 10 minutes in Garnier while Paquette is labouring 2 hours on a half 12 times in Bastille

All of which speaks to Madame Lefevre's apparent lack of a conscience . . .

Well Paquette is not such a slave that he couldn't refuse... the direction would have been long faced to its lack of organisation if he was just doing his normal share...

Share this post


Link to post

Well Paquette is not such a slave that he couldn't refuse... the direction would have been long faced to its lack of organisation if he was just doing his normal share...

How does that work within the strict rules of the hierarchy? Can etoiles more senior to Paquette and who are uninjured (in this case, Le Riche, Ganio, Pech, Moreau and Belingard) outright refuse to appear in Don Quixote or only consent to appear in a certain number of performances (i.e. Ganio)?

Even if Paquette could refuse on hierarchical grounds, he may feel that being an etoile carries with it a certain responsibility in times of crisis.

Share this post


Link to post

Honestly, I don't know.

But why this run of Don Quichotte started with 12 shows for Paquette? This is ridiculous. During the last classics, it has been seen that due to different injuries during the run, dancers like Bullion, Paquette and Martinez danced a lot of shows, but at a last minute replacements (even if it tends to become more and more frequent and less and less last minute).

But starting 26 shows of Don Quichotte with only two etoiles and three Premiers danseurs (with one Thibault really fragile) is a lack of foresight, especially after what happened last season with Cinderella and Bayadère.

So of course, Paquette is convenient... It is convenient from an administrative point of view, but is it from an artistic point of view?

Share this post


Link to post

Am I understanding that Paquette is carry a run of "Don Quichotte" because it is against company hierarchy to prepare dancers farther down the ranks for Basilio? I've seen the company relatively recently, and surely they have men in the lower ranks with enough ability.

Both Hilaire and Legris were etoiles in their early 20's.

Share this post


Link to post

the hierarchy is certainly important and it has always been the policy to have Etoiles and Premiers danseurs in the event of injury to replace them, even if the company has always favored to replace Etoiles by Etoiles which often leads to this high number of shows among the favorite ones.

I have the feeling- but I don’t know for sure- that there are very little understudies among the lower ranks. Until now, Etoiles and Premiers danseurs were filling the gaps even if it looks at time quite acrobatic replacements, but I think now, very reliable Etoiles and Premiers dancers are getting older and don’t want or just can’t dance very demanding roles, so among the youngest, if one or two in this case (Bullion and Magnenet) of the solid ones are injured, it’s a huge problem.

I believe now Etoiles are more named around 30s with few exceptions like Ganio, Gilbert or Heymann. The POB repertoire favors more mature dancers

Share this post


Link to post

Even if Paquette could refuse on hierarchical grounds, he may feel that being an etoile carries with it a certain responsibility in times of crisis.

Yes, that is a good point, but one hopes the other etoiles (especially ones like Pech or Belingard who have danced Basilio before) would feel the same sense of responsibility. That sounds like a dig but I don't mean it as one. I don't know what has happened internally, what their schedules are like etc.

But I still don't get why the direction would ask him to dance that many times. Ganio is only dancing 4 times. Chaillet has 3 performances at the end of the run. I know Chaillet is a premier danseur and this is his debut etc etc, but still. And Gilbert/Ganio Don Q would be fabulous for the live broadcast. Although Paquette hasn't be filmed much, so that's probably why he gets that.

I'm not sure of the exact mechanics, but the etoiles can definitely say "No, I don't want to dance X." They're also guaranteed a minimum number of performances per season. Although based on how infrequently some have danced in the past, it must either be a tiny number or they must be able to waive the minimum.

My impression is that the company doesn't like having understudies. If a dancer gets injured during the run, often his/her roles are simply redistributed among the existing casts. Or, they have a dancer (often a sujet) who learns the role and gets 1 scheduled performance and is available to sub as necessary.

Share this post


Link to post

And Gilbert/Ganio Don Q would be fabulous for the live broadcast. Although Paquette hasn't be filmed much, so that's probably why he gets that.

Paquette is on nearly ALL the DVD the past ten years!!! Ivan the terrible, Paquita, Swan Lake, The lady of the camellias, Degas little dancer... He doesn't really show only on contemporary works...

Bullion was due to be on the film with Gilbert, I guess because Paquette was second cast, he had priority.... Besides, Ganio hasn't been really convincing so far on this run but perhaps his late coming on the role shows only lack of rehearsals

Share this post


Link to post

Ok, that's true but he hasn't really been filmed as a lead. I suppose it just goes to show how reliant on him the company is.

Share this post


Link to post

I, too, thought he had been filmed in smaller, more cameo roles. I like him a lot in character-driven roles, and I always wished he had more screen time, like I wish that Gary Avis' Cavalier in the Royal Ballet's "Sleeping Beauty" DVD had a much bigger role.

Share this post


Link to post

yes but he's rarely first cast... To add to the list, he was filmed in La Source las year as lead and I heard the DVD will be released.

Share this post


Link to post

Whatever the advantages of the hierarchy may be, in this instance it appears that the hierarchy acts as an anchor on the company. Instead of giving opportunities (and experience) to promising male dancers in the lower ranks, the company is forced to import dancers to make the schedule work. You expect that from ABT (with its mania for guest stars) but not from the Opera, which affects to be completely self-sufficient and above that.

If I were Paquette, I would be seething that I had to carry the company with so many performances in a full-length while the other etoiles (who aren't that much older than him) are dancing one-acts in the Forsythe/Brown bill.

This is a good opportunity for Chaillet. I just hope his body holds up given that he's had to switch from being the lead in the Gillot premiere to Forsythe's In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated to Nureyev's Don Quixote. Not easy switching styles and techniques like that.

In regard to the main point of this thread, Legris is running away with the vote. Will he be recalled from exile in Vienna? And what will Hilaire do if he gets passed over in favor of Legris?? Does he grit his teeth and stay on in a subordinate role???

Frederic Flamand for the win! wink1.gif

Share this post


Link to post

I don't follow the ins and outs of the performance schedule at the Opera, and so don't have that perspective, but I would imagine that administrative experience (like Legris) would be an important factor in this decision. In the past, the organization was so insular that spending time working elsewhere might be considered a deficit, but I'm not sure that's the current point of view. I know that in Seattle, when the company was searching for a new director, Peter Boal's experience running his own, small ensemble, was an important point in his favor.

Share this post


Link to post

I don't follow the ins and outs of the performance schedule at the Opera, and so don't have that perspective, but I would imagine that administrative experience (like Legris) would be an important factor in this decision. In the past, the organization was so insular that spending time working elsewhere might be considered a deficit, but I'm not sure that's the current point of view. I know that in Seattle, when the company was searching for a new director, Peter Boal's experience running his own, small ensemble, was an important point in his favor.

Was his experience useful or successful, or does he have the ability to learn from what he did or did not, or could not, accomplish there? Some people with "experience" should not transfer elsewhere, while others should be able to do so, based on certain conditions and qualifications.

Share this post


Link to post