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New corps de ballet members

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Ludmila Pagliero has been dancing at the Opera for three years, and she has proved her value during these years in many roles, so she has been kept and given a place in the corps de ballet. If she is a good dancer (people from outside can be as good as our french, you know...), I think it's perfectly normal. On the other side, Adam Thurlow was not given a place this year...

These people "from abroad", as you say cygneblanc, have to make more efforts than the others to stay at the Opera. I don't understand your contempt... Once more, the "foreigners" are not responsible for the Opera policy.

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What I've seen from Melle Plagliero hasn't convinced me at all and that's it. Maybe I'm blind after all.

I know people from outside can be as good, and I don't necessary approve the POB school methods. Thus, generaly speaking, I'm not pro french, and the ones who know me here know there isn't any problem.

The fact is there is a school wich is there for providing dancers for the POB. They are a lot of excellent girls and boys here which have to prove their value in some unbelievable conditions during a lot of years. And then, you are asking us to approve this policy of the POB that is to offer some contracts that should be given to kids school ?

If they were bad or if they were real lack of talent, that would be fine. That's not the case.

Miss Pagliero may have proven her value during three years but the girls from Nanterre have proven theirs during at least five years. I wouldn't have a problem if the contract was have been given to a foreign girl educated in Nanterre.

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There's no guarantee that a good student from Nanterre will always be a good corps de ballet member. I believe the work between the school and the corps is quite different indeed. I agree that most students adapt (easily or not, I have no idea), but still, miss Pagliero has proved her worth in the corps and alongside the other girls who have way more experience. It wouldn't be fair to kick her out now.

Besides, not all girls spent 5 years in the school. Marine Ganio for instance arrived 2 or 3 years ago I think. (I've nothing against this young girl of course, I admire her for completing her education at the POB school, it's a great achievement, and I'd be glad if there were more places for her and others) Well, Ludmila Pagliero spent 2 years in the corps. And it must be just as challenging and the conditions must be just as hard for a surnuméraire who isn't sure she will be able to stay at the end of the year (not to talk of her previous schooling, which I don't know anything about). Isn't being a surnuméraire already quite a POB schooling with all the hard times it implies I think ? Besides, few of the surnuméraires from outside the POB are given steady contracts...

But I guess we'll just have to agree to differ, cygneblanc - at least it was interesting to see how differently one can see the situation. ;) I hope that a few girls will be given a surnuméraire contract, if that's their wish of course.

Edited by Azulynn
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I'd like to ask some questions of the POB regulars here. Firstly, I take it that the students from the top divisions of the school (as well as the other divisions) are put in rank order. Is the director of the company obliged to admit into the company the student(s) who came top of their class? If so, does this make the selection of new corps de ballet members very fair and transparent, or is it still very subjective? How many people assess the students, and are they assessed mainly on technique, or on artistic elements which are, by nature, more subjective?

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Competition to enter the corps de ballet and examinations are two different things.

At the end of every year, pupils, from the sixth to the first division, have to pass an exam. It decides of their future: they are ranked, some are kept, some aren't. In the first "division", examination can be compared to a degree.

At the end of their scholarship, when they are in the first "division", they are allowed to compete to enter the corps de ballet. Their rank at the exam doesn't count, even if, of course, it is known. That's not the director of the company who decides alone who he wants in the company, but a jury. They are mainly judged on technique.

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There is an exam at the end of each division but the first one where it is a competition.

It means that in the case of an exam, all of those who haven't failed have to be promoted. In the case of a competition, you know before the beginning that there will be one, or two or more contracts.

The winners won the contracts, though the judges aren't under the legal obligation to give every contract, if they feel they shouldn't be attributed. That's the case for each competition that allows you to become an employee of the State.

The specific rules for these exams and competitions exist in the official rules of the POB school which unfortunately aren't available on the web but only on a printed paper.

Everything is explained in : the exams of the youngest and the competition for the oldest, and theirs modalities. I wouldn't take the risk to denaturate the text with a poor translation.

[Edited by Helene to add: cygneblanc provided us with a "soft copy" of the text in French, which is archived here:


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Thank you. I didn’t realise the students were assessed on pre-set material – I thought they were assessed in a standard class. And the jury seems to represent the whole spectrum of the organisation.

Edit: Sorry, I posted this before the French text had been deleted - my posting doesn't make sense anymore!

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