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Foyer de la Danse


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#1 glebb

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 06:32 AM

I've been reading the book 'The Ballerinas' by Parmenia Migel, which Victoria Leigh suggested. Great book and now I think I am ready to move on to Ivor Guest's books, which Alexandra suggested.

In 'The Ballerinas', the "Foyer de la Danse in the Academie de Musique et de Dance (generally known as the Opera)" is written about. It is designed by Charles Garnier and was inaugurated January 5, 1875. The mural is painted by Gustave Boulanger and depicts dancers such as, (and I will only partially list): Vestris, Salle, Taglioni, Duvernay, Elssler, Grisi, Cerrito, Rosati. There are also busts of Taglioni, Grisi and Livry.

Have you seen this room Estelle, Katharine, or anyone else at Ballet Alert?

I would love to hear your comments about this historic site.

#2 Estelle

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 06:52 AM

I have seen it only on photographs, or in documentaries about the POB (plus in some Degas paintings, of course). But I've never done a touristic visit of the Opera- perhaps it can be visited that way...

Well, actually I saw it once, but from far away: when the company does the Defile in Garnier, the iron curtain which is at the back of the stage is open, and so one can see the Foyer de la Danse which is behind, with lit candles. There are mirrors in it, so everything looks twice as long as it really is, and the dancers arrive from there on the stage. It's quite an impressive sight- and also the beginning of the defile is moving, with a tiny little girl of the school opening the defile alone, walking from the foyer to the front stage... Glebb, you have to come and see it someday! :)

#3 glebb

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 06:57 AM

Merci Estelle! I really do need to see it. Maybe you will be my guide since my Russian is much better than my French. :)

#4 Alymer

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Posted 13 May 2002 - 12:03 PM

I've been in the Foyer de la Danse several times Glebb and it really is spectacular, but I'm ashamed to say I didn't really notice the details. There are a number of impressive rooms backstage at the Opera Garnier. I remember a good many years ago a reception in the Salle Messager, which was very prettily decorated in Belle Epoque style. And I belive that some of the etoiles have wonderful dressing rooms. One of the privileges which goes with the promotion is your own, permanent dressing room suite - yours to decorate as you will. I belive that Ghislane Thesmar's was really wonderful - I remember hearing Nureyev being teased by one of the dancers who accused him of coveting it! He didn't deny it.

#5 aubri

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 04:38 AM

Hi Glebb,
I have seen this room and spent every morning for a year taking ballet classes there, My teacher was Lucien Duthoit, and there is Painting of all the ballerina and it surrounds the ceilings.
It is a beautifule room that is recked on the opposite direction than the stage a little like that ^.
We initiate the Defile in that room, the entire school and company is packed in there, we start withe the smallest girl from the school, when I was there Corinne Obadia use to start, then the ladies of the corps and so on and so forth, it usually stops with the oldest male Etoile.

#6 BW

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 06:43 AM

What images you've each given us - the mirrored hallway with candles...incredible! Merci beaucoup!:) Someday I, too, hope to attend.

Reading this topic makes me think of the effect that the atmosphere and/or architecture of a venue has upon the performance being seen. Ultimately, if one is watching a ballet, one should, in my opinion, be transported and become completely unaware of one's real surroundings (barring, of course, the unpredictable interference from one's audience members).... And yet, having a setting as you all have described here must have a huge impact on the audience, as well as the ballet dancers themselves.

That image of the smallest, young dancer...and the ensuing Defile takes my breath away.

#7 glebb

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 02:55 PM

Thank you all so much!

I would very much like to see this place too.

I think my 2nd (dream) trip to Russia will have to include a stop in Paris to see this historic room.

:(

#8 Babou

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 03:10 PM

As you seem interested by seeing the foyer de la danse, I bring this information to you, hoping that you'll have the opportunity to be in Paris at that time!
1st Défilé on the 20 of January2003 preceding an Homage to Nureev and the performance will begin at 19h30
2d possibility for you to see the Défilé will be on the 8th of February2003 preceding the George Balanchine performance "Les Joyaux"(Jewels) more information will be found on www.opera-de-paris.com
I have never seen the Défilé but I was told that it really takes your breath away so I 'll try not missing it this year!
(I hope my english isn't too bad )

#9 glebb

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 03:14 PM

Very good, your English is!

Sorry, I had to say very good in Russian. :(

Thanks so much Babou. I hope to be able to be there.

#10 Alexandra

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 03:44 PM

Thank you for that, Babou. I've only seen the defile on a video taken from television, and THAT book my breath away! The combination of power and grace is quite wonderful.

As is your English -- I hope you'll post often and tell us what's going on in Paris. There are many people here with an interest in that company.

#11 glebb

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Posted 20 May 2002 - 03:49 PM

Dear Aubri,

Did you look at the paintings every day?
Which ballerina is prettiest, in your opinion?

:(


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