Reports on Nicolas Le Riche's farewell performance.
Mr. Le Riche is also the youngest of the group of Paris Opera étoiles who were picked as future stars by Rudolf Nureyev, who cast him in the title role of “Romeo and Juliet” when he was just 19. His departure from the company severs that last link to an era, and the palpable nostalgia in the audience on Wednesday was not just for the dancer, but for a period in its history too. (That was commemorated after the performance, when Ms. Filippetti bestowed the title of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres on Mr. Le Riche.)
He chose the programme, and it became a night forged in his image, passionate and warm, rooted in the classical tradition but voyaging beyond it. It began quietly with Le Riche emerging from the darkness and dancing, thoughtfully, to a pensive little song played on guitar by Matthieu Chedid. As he moved, relaxed and graceful, he revealed in miniature all the qualities that have made him such an outstanding dancer, his purity of line and technique, his open-heartedness, his presence.