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Spectacle de L'Ecole de Danse

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Has no one else seen the paris Opera Ballet School's performance? I was waiting to see what people had to say about it, but since no one has yet, I'll start!

The first ballet was Péchés de Jeunesse, which was created for the School in 2000 by Jean-Guillaume Bart on music by Rossini. It has two main couples (Béryl de Saint-Sauveur with Axel Ibot and Marie-Astrid Casinelli with Maxime Thomas), two soloists (Noëllie Conjeaud and Marion Arizzi), three other couples for a pas de six and six corps de ballet couples. It is quite a nice ballet, with a light and fresh atmosphere. The dancers were very good, but they sometimes had problems to put themselves into lines. The portés were maybe a little bit difficult and the choreography was sometimes a bit repetitive, but that might be so that all the dancers get to do the same thing in the end. I liked the second pas de deux and Marie-Astrid Casinelli. One of the dancers didn't have very nice arms, and the wrists were too bent (I don't know how to say it in english, in french, we say they are "cassés", which means "broken"!), but apart from small details like that, it was quite enjoyable, and the dancers did a very good work.

The second ballet was Jeu de Cartes by Janine Charrat on Stravinsky's well known music. It has just entered the School's repertory. The costumes weren't very nice and we couldn't see the dancers lines and bodies properly, which is a pity. The Joker was dances by the wonderful Médhi Angot who has an excellent technique and who really is the Joker, he doesn't just dance, he has something more than just his dance and technique. He was by far the most applauded of the whole evening(s I went twice!). Tonight, he also did four pirouettes quite a few times, and they were all neatly finished, and globally, his whole dancing was very neat and always in the right position. He is incredible! Béryl de Saint-Sauveur as the Queen of Diamonds, Marie-Astrid Casinelli as the Queen of Spades and Marion Arizzi as the Queen of Hearts were also all very good, and some had very high extensions. The synchronisation was good, they all danced exactly together. The choreography was quite interesting and unusual, but sometimes a bit too technical (I'm not saying too difficult, but sometimes it seemed like it was a bit "look how many turns he can do" or "look how high she can lift her leg" because it seemed to insist on it because they did it a lot, so after a while, it seems like it's done on purpose to show what the dancers can do, but maybe that's just an impression, and the way it was danced rather than the choreography, and sometimes even "look how imaginative I am" because it repeated too much the things which were original, so once again, it seemed to insist on it).

The last ballet was Mouvements by Bessy on Prokofiev's "Classical" Symphony. It started showing only the legs (the dancers were lying on the floor with a black thing on their bodies and the lights came from the sides so that they only showed the legs which were up). It was quite amusing, but one doesn't really see the point. Then, the arms. The dancers had long black skirts, an orange top and white gloves on once again to emphasize the amrs' work. The problem was that they were on roller skates, so quite uncomfortable on a raked stage, so they weren't as graceful as usually. On Monday, some also had problems to stop when they were coming down towards the audience, and we could hear them trying to stop with loud braking noises. However, it seemed a bit better today, but they still looked uncomfortable. Then there was a shorter sequence which was meant to be funny I think, and the finale had most of the dancers of the school. One dancer fell tonight doing a cabriole battue, I hope she didn't injure herself. It ends with all the dancers coming in from the back in a snake shape holding one another, smallest in front! This was really cute!

Basically, all the dancers were very good and have worked a lot.

However, two questions arose as I was watching:

-How do the musicians in the orchestra feel? After having studied music for a long time, having worked a lot, they end up accompanying what they might just consider as kids! Don't they find it frustrating? I always considered it was normal for the orchestra to play for the Ballet School, but during one of the solos, it just came into my head that maybe they didn't find it normal to work so much so hard just for a kid to dance!

-How do they choose the ones who will dance? I'm not talking about who gets the main roles. I noticed that most of the dancers danced, but some didn't, and that just seemed unfair. The ones who don't dance don't get to participate either during rehearsals, they must really feel rejected, excluded... It must be hard, especially since the majority dances (I think only about ten didn't dance).

Anyway, I'd better stop now, because it's getting really too long!


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I also saw tonight performance, and you said everything!

I noticed Aubane Philbert's smile, and was impressed with M.A. Casinelli technical backgrounds, she's only 15 ! Some of the kids looked tired !

The girl who fell had a bad look (I was sitting in the first row) after her fall, I hope she's OK.

I noticed a lack of polish in Peches de Jeunesse, the legs of some girls weren't extended enough to my mind.

I didn't like Jeu de Cartes a lot, although the kids seemed to have fun,and played it well.

Mouvements was a very nice moment, I liked it !

Su-Lian only Miss Bessy is deciding who is dancing. What I find cruel here is that some of the kids of the lowest classes didn't perform in Mouvements, and only Miss Bessy knows why. And yes, I can say it's hard for those who aren't dancing because when kids choosen for performing are rehearsing the others are doing homework.. Some kids are injured, and that's why they didn't dance, especially Amandine Albisson, but for the others...I hope next year everyone will dance in Concerto en Ré.

I got an explanation from my goddaughter, who's a pupil of the school, about Mouvements:

According to her, it is because of the outfits: there are more kids now in the school than at the creation of the ballet, so there were not enough costumes for everyone...That's why some of the kids didn't dance...

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But then instead of some of the pupils dancing several times (some in the three ballets), they should have organised it differently so that they could all participate. I don't have anything against them, but for example, the ones who danced several times could have been replaced in some of the ballets by others who didn't have any role. And even if the excuse is that they're not good enough for the part, I'm sure it could have been arranged by "upgrading" to a better role someone who can, so that an easier part is left to someone who didn't have any role could do something s/he could. The ones who danced in Péchés de Jeunesse and Jeu de cartes could have been replaced by others in Mouvements, especially since this ballet is not as difficult as the two others and that most of the dancers from Jeu de Cartes had already danced in Péchés de Jeunesse. This is probably more acceptable since, it is true, those two are more difficult, so they need better dancers from 1ere Division, but do they really need the 1ere division in Mouvements? Because then what the 1ere did in Mouvements could have been done by 2nde etc and everybody could have participated. Well, I suppose somewhere I must be wrong, otherwise Mrs Bessy would have thought of it and everybody would have danced.

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Here are some explanations, it doesn't mean I agree with them!

Well, the politics followed for the annual performances of the school is that the oldest students are those who must dance the more, I mean the first, second and third divisions. The youngest students were happy to be a part of the performance this year, it is something we're seing only every 6 or 7 years.

They aren't dancing a lot : they aren't given a lot of consideration because as in the ballet, the hierarchy is very present in the school. You have to pay your duties for performing. And the goal of these performances isn't to have every pupil in them, for that there is the Christmas performance for parents, but to show the very best of the school. And you will notice that each year the same students are the main parts of all the works featured in the performances, and very often these kids are the ones admitted in the corps in june...

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