pherank

Mathilde Froustey

148 posts in this topic

Froustey performed the Grand Pas Classique at the 2014 SFB Gala. Here she is in the same ballet from 2004 Varna, with Josua Hoffalt. She must be about 18 here. (Beware of the Big Head that blocks some of Hoffalt's excellent batterie.)

Share this post


Link to post

Froustey with Tiit Helimets after her first principal performance, in Giselle, January 26th, 2014:

Be9Q2sOCQAEo8CV.jpg

Giselle: Mathilde Froustey
Albrecht: Tiit Helimets
Hilarion: Pascal Molat
Myrtha: Simone Messmer

Share this post


Link to post

Just a quick follow up on Zahorian - some unfortunate news:

"I learned from this post-gala correspondence what apparently few among the audience of 3200 noticed. When she (Zahorian) fell — probably slipping on sweat on the stage, and her shoe, with rosin on it, got caught — she broke her foot (the fifth metatarsal) ... and she continued to dance the entire piece on a broken foot."

--Janos Gereben

https://www.sfcv.org/article/sf-ballet-gala-fun-profitable-and-showing-up-the-nfl

Last year, the company was seeming short on female principals, but with the addition of Froustey and Messmer, the company had regained its depth, but now Zahorian is out for who knows how long. I really hope this is the only freak accident for this season, but who knows?

Share this post


Link to post

Mathilde Froustey will be dancing Kitri in Don Quixote with the Paris Opera Ballet in Japan on March 14 and 16, 2014, as a replacement due to the injury of POB étoile Ludmila Pagliero. Mlle. Froustey has danced Kitri before in the POB production, choreographed by Nureyev, which I believe is available for viewing online.

Share this post


Link to post

That's right in the middle of the Cinderella run at SFB. I was hoping she would dance the title role, or at least one of the sisters; I think she'd be terrific in any of those parts. Sensible to be cooperative and stay on good terms with her 'home' company, I guess.

Share this post


Link to post

Yes, I am going to two performances of Cinderella, and was so hoping that she would be doing the lead. So far, I have only seen her in the Nutcracker grand pas de deux, where she was radiant.

Share this post


Link to post

It's too bad you missed her Giselle: different and interesting. Not fully polished yet, especially Act II, but the emotion was there. I'm certainly no expert, and I haven't seen all that many ballerinas in the role, but I can't imagine anyone better in the first act.

Share this post


Link to post

I didn't completely miss her Giselle- for about 12 hours her performance was posted through Dansomanie and I dropped everything and watched it when I discovered it one Saturday afternoon, knowing that it would probably disappear, as it had by the next day. I am impressed with her spontaneity and think that she has a beautiful technique that permits spontaneity. I am partial to the Paris Opera Ballet School training. Lucky you to have seen her on stage as Giselle.

Share this post


Link to post

I attended both the February 25 and February 26 performances of «The Kingdom of the Shades» by San Francisco Ballet. Mademoiselle Froustey was dancing one of the three Shades. Unfortunately, her lacklustre performance on both nights was not at the level one expects from a principal which was one of the very few disappointments on either night.

Share this post


Link to post

Ballet life in Tokyo is good:

"This was really amazing : 2h30 after the performance people were still waiting for pictures !!!!"

9b2fe8a0ad7811e3b4b00e1aaf66de96_8.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

I absolutely like her style. It's elegant, sophisticated and at the same time a bit flirtatious. It's still beyond me why she wasn't nominated as an étoile in Paris, so I think she made a wise decision to go to another company abroad. Luckily her bond with POB is alright, as she otherwise wouldn't be dancing for them in Japan.

Share this post


Link to post

I absolutely like her style. It's elegant, sophisticated and at the same time a bit flirtatious. It's still beyond me why she wasn't nominated as an étoile in Paris, so I think she made a wise decision to go to another company abroad. Luckily her bond with POB is alright, as she otherwise wouldn't be dancing for them in Japan.

Advancement in the POB involves winning a series of exam/contests, and I think she tended to show nerves and didn't do particularly well in the exams, but seems to do well on stage before the public (which is what really matters, lets face it). From what I can tell, Froustey would return to POB if they would assure her of a path to the etoile level, but that would recquire a change in how things are done - who knows what will happen under Millepied?

I think she is just enjoying the attention, and any chance to perform on stage, so she is going where the opportunities arise. Sometimes she sounds a bit like a "kid in a candy store", but I have a feeling that is partly to hide her own self-doubts. A couple of years spent around Masha Kochetkova and the others might actually help her to find a path that fits her. Masha is a good influence: she knows all about work ethic, focus and humility.

This Froustey interview is worth a read if you haven't already seen it.

Share this post


Link to post

What you tend to forget is that there are many dancers at this level in POB and they can't be all Etoiles and not even Premières danseuses.

Besides, she has always been cast in specific kind of soubrette roles that are limited in POB repertoire and I would say most of the time because Etoiles don't want to dance them. She's very rarely seen in contemporary nor chosen by living choreographers...

Share this post


Link to post

Advancement in the POB involves winning a series of exam/contests, and I think she tended to show nerves and didn't do particularly well in the exams, but seems to do well on stage before the public (which is what really matters, lets face it). From what I can tell, Froustey would return to POB if they would assure her of a path to the etoile level, but that would recquire a change in how things are done - who knows what will happen under Millepied?

Does anyone know how much leeway Millepied actually has in terms of changing the Concours system? I imagine that is something that would require negotiations with the union. There is always some grumbling (always has been and always will be) about unfair promotions or people who were unjustly passed over during the Concours, there doesn't seem to be too much discontentment overall with the current system. Examinations like the Concours are part of the French way of life.

Of course Millepied can promote directly to étoile and skip premier danseur, the way Mathieu Ganio was promoted. But I would think a lot of promotions like that would cause resentment and other problems. POB is fundamentally a hierarchical company.

What you tend to forget is that there are many dancers at this level in POB and they can't be all Etoiles and not even Premières danseuses.

Besides, she has always been cast in specific kind of soubrette roles that are limited in POB repertoire and I would say most of the time because Etoiles don't want to dance them. She's very rarely seen in contemporary nor chosen by living choreographers...

Yes. I think this is partly because Froustey has been very adept/savvy at promoting herself on social media (which I think is great). Few of the other dancers have Youtube accounts, and the ones that do (Dayanova, for example) don't update them as frequently or post as long excerpts as Froustey does. So people who follow POB but don't see the company perform live on a regular basis (a fair number of people on this board I would imagine) aren't aware of many of the other dancers.

Lefebvre certainly seems to want her étoiles to be able to dance classical and contemporary roles. Are there any current étoiles who specialize? (Abbagnato maybe, but even she was thrown into Sleeping Beauty this season.) Maybe Millepied will be different.

Share this post


Link to post

I hope Millepied has no plans to change the system. If disgruntled sujets were to start taking "promotions" at other companies in order to re-negotiate a better position back at the Paris Opera Ballet, it would set an incredibly bad precedent.

Share this post


Link to post

It's hard to imagine any great changes - after all, there has to be some kind of system in place to deal with promotions at what is still a very large company. And the majority of individuals would have to have faith in the rules (and I think that, by-and-large, they do). There is no perfect way, and Froustey's promotion troubles are a demonstration of that, but as Volcanohunter has mentioned, it would be no improvement to conduct promotions based on special negotiations, special favors, etc. The Bolshoi would seem to have enough of that sort of thing going on, and what good has it done for ballet at the Bolshoi?

Share this post


Link to post

the only other Etoile dancer who has little repertoire who is coming to my mind is Ould-Braham... Dorothée GIlbert is little cast in contemporary but ventures in neo-classical.Abbagnato has danced the repertoire when she was younger and it seems Renavand is likely to try classics as well. Among male dancers, Ganio and Heymann are mostly doing classics but they are still the youngest so it may change.
I think what is required to be Etoile is to have this high level in classical repertory and that's why the Premiers danseurs who are likely to become Etoiles have to prove they can. But in the meantime, artistic and acting skills are required at a high level too and it's diffcult to show a wide range of talent when you're not cast in contemporary and neo classical.
Each year there are huge discussions around the concours but this is difficult to find another way of promoting dancers which would be that fair. And although some complain about the concours, overall they are attached to this way of promotion. Afterall from what I can remember of the past ten years, there are very few dancers who has been left over by concours with blatant injustice... Perhaps Fanny Fiat would had deserved to be Première Danseuse (she left the company in her early 30s) but all the others, even if it took a long time managed to pass that level.

Share this post


Link to post

Mlle. Froustey was cast in and received acclaim for her performance in Serenade with POB last season, which we who have danced it do not consider to be a soubrette role. My secret desire is that SFB revive The Sleeping Beauty next season, and I would take my vacation to see Froustey, Zahorian, Tan, Van Patten, and Kochetkova all dance Aurora. (It's important to dream!)

Share this post


Link to post

Mlle. Froustey was cast in and received acclaim for her performance in Serenade with POB last season, which we who have danced it do not consider to be a soubrette role. My secret desire is that SFB revive The Sleeping Beauty next season, and I would take my vacation to see Froustey, Zahorian, Tan, Van Patten, and Kochetkova all dance Aurora. (It's important to dream!)

I believe it has been (or will be) 7 years since SFB has performed a Sleeping Beauty. My own dreams run more to what Balanchine or Robbins I would like to see them do, or oddities like Ashton's Illuminations, but that's just me. I also wish Tomasson would spread out, say, 3 different Balanchine ballets throughout the season for once, rather than have a Balanchine program.

As to whether Froustey can dance such things successfuly - there's no way to find out except to try. I've seen the Serenade footage of POB, and level of execution was high (as one might expect). And I liked the French 'perfume' given to that work by POB, but theirs is a style that appeals to me.

Share this post


Link to post

I agree that Tomasson should spread the Balanchine works throughout the season. Difficult I think for a company to do a quick study of a particular style of dance for a few weeks and then present a good reading of the choreographer's ideas.

It's like doing Shaw or Shakespeare – best to be doing it regularly to be fluent in the language and "little tricks." Anyway, that may have been the problem with the pure ballet of Kingdom of the Shades (which I didn't see because Bolshoi had done it here a few years earlier so absolutely perfectly and I didn't want to have conflicting impressions of it.)

Froustey was a great Giselle, but I'm wondering how she will be in Balanchine, especially something like Agon which is a primary modernist work – what with a certain style of hip placement and a tight vocabulary of movements that follow strict planes of action. Serenade on the other hand is much closer to Giselle – done for a small company of itinerant dancers, or something like that.

Reviving works no one else is doing – like Illuminations, though the good and evil themes might not read as they once did – is a great idea and would give the audience something to really look forward to. Maybe a whole program called "1952" (or "1933").

Share this post


Link to post