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POB annual competition results

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"Premiers danseurs" (one position)

1 Christophe Duquenne is promoted :blushing:

2 Stéphane Bullion

3 Nicolas Paul

4 Florian Magnenet

5 Bruno Bouché

6 Simone Valastro

"Sujets" (2 positions)

1 Mathias Heymann is promoted :clapping:

2 Audric Bezard is promoted

3 Sébastien Bertaud

4 Grégory Gaillard

5 Aurélien Houette

6 Vincent Chaillet

"Coryphées" (2 positions)

1 Axel Ibot is promoted

2 Daniel Stokes is promoted

3 Marc Moreau

4 Cyril Chockroun

5 Fabien Révillon

6 Grégory Dominiak

Kudos and thank you to all of the ones who competed today. Good luck to the women's for tomorrow, and especially to a very special young lady :flowers: !

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Thanks a lot, cygneblanc ! Did you attend the competition ? And do you know which were the compulsory variations ?

The results of the competition are announced on the POB web site there:


Is it the first time that men and women dance on separate days ? It seems to me that usually one gender danced in the morning and the other in the afternoon (but perhaps it's simpler to organize it on two days).

Congratulations to all the promoted dancers! :flowers:

I was a bit surprised to see that Duquenne was promoted: he is a very talented dancer, but he is 35 now, and usually people rarely were promoted after 30 (with the exception of Isabelle Ciaravola a few years ago, promoted around 31 or 32 if I remember correctly). It seems that the present direction is more inclined to promoting "older" dancers than before (see also the promotions to étoile of Romoli and Moussin at a unusually late age... I remember that back in the early 1990s, some people considered that when Gaïda and Arbo were promoted to étoile, they were too old, but they were indeed much younger than some of the last promoted étoiles !) Actually Duquenne would have deserved to be promoted long ago (he's been a sujet since 1993 !), especially as he performed a lot of interesting roles and "saved" some performances when he had to replace some dancers... I'm happy he finally got some recognition, even if it comes a bit late (wasn't he in the same promotion at the school as Bart, Martinez, Le Riche, Bridard ?)

Edited to add: I had forgotten that Stéphane Phavorin had been promoted at a rather late age too... By the way, I wonder which of the present male premiers danseurs could be considered as potential étoiles (the list is: Jérémie Bélingard, Yann Bridard, Alessio Carbone, Karl Paquette, Stéphane Phavorin, Emmanuel Thibault

and now Christophe Duquenne).

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I would think that the promotions of dancers like Duquenne and Ciaravola would be a source of encouragement for the company's dancers. From what I gather, Duquenne had been a sujet for 13 years, so he must have made several unsucessful attempts at the exam and watched many others leap-frog ahead him. I'm sure it was very discouraging, but he didn't give up. If Duquenne has set some sort of record for being oldest sujet ever promoted to premier danseur, congratulations to him! :flowers:

Perhaps there isn't any one pattern for promotion at the Opéra these days. Ganio became an étoile very early (and so far young Mathias Heymann is speeding along in a similar pattern), Moussin and Romoli were promoted late, and Moreau was named in his late 20s, which has been the more usual pattern. It could be that the system is more sensitive to individual development than it may appear to be on the surface.

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I'll try to write a detailed review tomorrow after the ladies' competition with all the compulsories for each level :flowers:

No, it isn't the first time the men and women don't compete the same day. It has been done that way since the last year, but before, the competition was held during only a long and tiring day!

All promotions are to my mind deserved and are reflecting what the dancers did on stage today, which for me hasn't always been the case in the past. I only hope that Gil Isoart will soon get promoted if he choose to compete again (He wasn't in his best shape today).

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The women's promotions are also on the website :

* Sujets

> Mademoiselle Sarah Kora Dayanova (22 ans)

> Mademoiselle Marie-Solène Boulet (29 ans)

* Coryphées

> Mademoiselle Ludmila Pagliero (23 ans)

> Mademoiselle Daphnée Gestin (25 ans)

Well-deserved for Ms. Dayanova and Pagliero, who danced superbly. Ms. Dayanova gave a truly amazing account of the Shadow from Les Mirages (Lifar). I feel disappointed though for the lovely Eléonore Guérineau, the strongest quadrille IMO - but it's true she's still very young (it was her first competition). She definitely has a wonderful career ahead of her.

More later if I have time ;)

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And the ladies results


1 Sarah Kora Dayanova is promoted

2 Marie-Solène Boulet is promoted

3 Laurène Lévy

4 Charline Giezendanner

5 Sabrina Mallem

6 Lucie Clément


1 Ludmila Pagliero is promoted

2 Daphnée Gestin is promoted

3 Eléonore Guérineau

4 Aubane Philbert

5 Pauline Verdusen

6 Leila Dilhac

More to come later ! I'M sad for Aubane Philbert :flowers:

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Thanks for the news, Azulynn and cygneblanc. I'm looking forward to reading more of your comments. Could you post how many dancers competed in each category ? Usually there are quite a lot of injuries in that period (especially with two big productions at the same time) so I guess not everybody competed ?

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As promised here (a bit latter, sorry) are my thoughts on this year competition


Quadrille level

Compulsory: Swan lake, act I, first variation of the Pas de Rois


1.Ludmila Pagliero, Promoted, Notre Dame de Paris, Act 1, Esmeralda’s variation ;

2.DaphnéGestin, Promoted, Suite en blanc, Flute’s variation

3.Eleonore Guérineau, Suite en blanc, Serenade’s variation

Aubane Philbert, Four seasons, Spring’s variation

5. Pauline Verdusen Four seasons, Spring’s variation

6. Leila Dilhac Suite en blanc, Flute’s variation

A very strange result for me and a major part of the audience. It reminds me figure skating so much ! I wonder what message the direction wants to send to POB school’s graduates and to school pupils. Miss Pagliero is a good dancer but to my mind she doesn’t deserve this promotion. She showed a very nice Esmeralda but her compulsory wasn’t that strong and some others were better overall.

The two best dancers of the event were also the very youngest, barely 18 years old.

Eleonore Guerineau was fabulous and was clearly the of leader of the field. She’s an excellent technician, has a lot of style and was flawess in a very difficult variation.

Aubane Philbert’s choice was very appropriate for a young dancer full of freshness. She did well on the technical side, and was a joy to watch. She may sometimes need to be less affected, but it is just a minor flaw.

Overall, the level of that class was rather homogeneous, and we saw a lot of very nice things, including Daphné Gestin’s Flute or Emilie Hasboun’s Gamzatti.

Coryphée level

Compulsory : Paquita, 2nd variation of the Grand Pas


1.Sarah Kora Dayanova promoted Les Mirages, Shade’s variation

2. Marie-Solène Boulet, promoted, Carmen

3. Laurène Levy, Four seasons, Spring’s variation

4. Sabrina Mallem Delibe’s Suite

5. Charline Giezendanner Jewels, Emerald, first variation

6. Lucie Clément The Bayadere, Act II, Nikya’s variation

The results are rather in accordance with what was seen on stage. Kora Danyanova was a somptuous omber and her compulsory was strong. She was indisputably the best.

Then, the results were closer. Marie-Solène Boulet was a spicy Carmen and her compulsory was good. Then both Laurène Levy and Charline Giezendanner, each in their own style were very beautiful but their compulsories were far from being perfect. But they could have been fished out because of their free variation.


Quadrille level

Compulsory: Don Quixote, Act I, Basilio’s second variation


1.Axel Ibot Promoted, Suite en Blanc’s Mazurka

2. Daniel Stokes Promoted Romeo and Juliet, Act one, Romeo’s first variation

3. Marc Moreau Etude’s Mazurka

4. Cyril Chockroun Manon’s, Avt I, Des Grieux’ variation

5.Fabien Révillon The Bayadere, act II, Solor’s variation

6. Grégory Dominiak Carmen’s, Don Jose variation

The winner was clearly the leader of his level. He was the only one with a flawess compulsory and showed a great musicality and a great elegance during his free variation.

The results were very close between the second and third place. Daniel Stocke sense of drama probably made a small difference in his favor.

Coryphée level

Compulsory Swan Lake, Act I, Siegfried’s slow variation


1. Mathias Heymann, Promoted, Don Quixote, Act I, Basilio’s first variation

2. Audric Bezard Promoted Appartment, TV sequence

3. Sébastien Bertaud Carmen’s, Don Jose variation

4. Grégory Gaillard Themes and Variations

5. Aurélien Houette Pas/ Parts

6.Vincent Chaillet Our Lady of Paris, Act I, Frollo’s variation

Mathias Heymann, only 19 years old, was ahead of everyone without discussions. He reminds me of his fellow Mathieu Ganio. What an elegance, what a technician, and overall what an artist! You’ll hear about him soon!

Audric Bezard’s choice is a bit unusual for someone who hopes to get promoted (I mean that usually dancers with such choices are rather older dancers who compete only for their pleasure and to dance something they really want to dance), but this time it paid. He was very convincing in his free variation but his compulsory was weaker, and overall, I thought Sebastien Bertaud was better because since these two dancers are quite close, and Mr. Bertaud’s compulsory was a bit better.

Sujet level

Compulsory: The lady of the Camelias, act II, Armand Duval’s variation

1.Christophe Duquenne, promoted, Other’s dances, first variation

2. Stéphane Bullion, Speaking in tongues

3. Nicolas Paul Approximate Sonata

4. Florian Magnenet, Suite en Blanc’s Mazurka

5. Bruno Bouché, A suite of dances, 2nd variation

6.Simone Valastro, Dance at a gathering, first variation of the dancer wearing brown.

Finally, Christophe Duquenne was rewarded and is the clear winner ! He could show all of his acting skills in his compulsory which was better than his free (still very good by the way). And then, I don’t know what really to say. The overall level was very homogeneous, a lot of contemporary choices. Nobody was bad but nobody was really good. The results may looked strange, as I think Julien Meyzindi deserved to be ranked. And it was still nice to see Gil Isoard compete, although the wasn’t in his best shape!

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As promised here (a bit latter, sorry) are my thoughts on this year competition

Thank you for such full information and your comments.

This process of the POB has always remained a mystery to me. If it is an entirely honest, unprejudiced and independent process, it doesn't seem such a bad way of elevating dancers from the ranks.

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I pretty much agree with everything Cygneblanc said. Thanks to her for summing it up.

I just wanted to add that I think Ms. Pagliero did not steal her promotion IMO, even though she was not the best dancer of the competition last week. She's a strong, beautiful dancer and did a nice Esmeralda, as stated - besides, I think it says a lot that she is now recognized, while those who didn't come out of the POB school usually struggle to be promoted and even to be considered, no matter how good they are. She will be just fine at the "coryphée" level, I think, after years of being a quadrille. That her and Sara Kora Dayanova (also previously a "surnuméraire") have been promoted this year is a fine way to recognize how much they add to the company, even if they're not meant to be future étoiles.

Ms. Dayanova's Shadow from Les Mirages, by the way, was extremely moving. There's a sense of perfect classicism about her dancing, a taste and sensitivity that make her the very example of the POB style IMO.

I agree with you, obviously (who didn't ?) : Eléonore Guérineau is a gorgeous dancer and was way above everyone else. What she does at such a young age is absolutely mesmerizing - not only is she technically perfect, but she is very feminine (which is not that common at the POB). Her lines just flow... I can't wait to see how she grows.

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