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POB promotion competition 2014-15

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Congratulations to Kirsher, Melac, Louvet, and Marchand flowers.gif

Apparently the jury couldn't agree on the promotion to premier danseur, so the vacant position will go unfilled this year.

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Good thing they don't have this competition at ABT. Otherwise there would be a lot of open positions at the soloist and principal levels.

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And the jurors are:

Stephane Lissner

Benjamin Millepied

Clotilde Vayer

Maria Kochetkova

Ethan Stiefel

Lionel Delanoe (alternate)

Aurelie Dupont

Benjamin Pech

Aurelia Bellet

Myriam Kamionka

Alexandre Carniato

Juliette Gernez (alternate)

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Good thing they don't have this competition at ABT. Otherwise there would be a lot of open positions at the soloist and principal levels.

POB standards are very high concerning the etoiles - the dancers have to "show the magic" onstage, and, they have to do so consistently. There are only so many dancers who have that 'certain something' that keeps all eyes upon them (no matter what they happen to be doing onstage). Part of me likes that their standards are so high, but that can be a problem during those periods when the young dancers don't seem exceptionally artistic, or 'magical'.

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Etoiles aren't chosen at Concours. They are chosen and presented by the Ballet AD to the General Director of the Opera, who nominates them, although, technically, that person could refuse the AD. Principal Dancers, from whom the etoiles are selected, are chosen at Concours, or not, as in this case.

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Thanks for that clarification, Helene. Re: etoile status, of the men, I know Carbone and Thibault have been waiting (and presumably hoping) for a long while now....

I'm sure this was discussed somewhere else, but how are the jurors chosen?

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The first five in miliosr list are chosen by the AD, the other five, dancers of the company, are elected by the dancers.

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Congratulations to Kirsher, Melac, Louvet, and Marchand flowers.gif

Apparently the jury couldn't agree on the promotion to premier danseur, so the vacant position will go unfilled this year.

wallbash.gif
My thoughts exactly! If you're not going to promote anybody, don't make them go through the stress of this ridiculous competition. Similar happens at the recruitment competition sometimes where they still ask people to compete when there aren't any vacancies.

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Thanks for that clarification, Helene. Re: etoile status, of the men, I know Carbone and Thibault have been waiting (and presumably hoping) for a long while now....

I think it's too late for Thibault. He's 40 (or close to it) and only two years away from the mandatory retirement age. Unless Millepied elevates him to etoile as a "historical redress" nomination, I don't see Thibault capturing the prize at this late date. Of the remaining "premier" men, I would put my money on the two youngest, Francois Alu and Arthur Raveau as future etoiles. (Raveau sustained an Achilles tendon injury this Fall so we'll have to see how he comes back from that.) Of the remaining three -- Audric Bezard, Vincent Chaillet and Florian Magenenet -- they're all very tall and very handsome. Whether they have that extra "something" needed to become an etoile I will leave to our French correspondents to comment on.

Edited to add: If Millepied manages to hang on at the POB, he will have a lot of opportunities regarding male etoiles as four of the current eight -- Benjamin Pech, Jeremie Belingard, Karl Paquette and Herve Moreau -- are in the 37-40 range.

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Etoiles and Premiers Danseurs belong to the same numerus clausus. It means the number of each is flexible. So Thibault will leave one more vacant position.

Regarding future nominations, it's difficult to say, it will depend also of what kind of repertoire Millepied aims to set up.

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Congratulations to Kirsher, Melac, Louvet, and Marchand flowers.gif

Apparently the jury couldn't agree on the promotion to premier danseur, so the vacant position will go unfilled this year.

wallbash.gif
My thoughts exactly! If you're not going to promote anybody, don't make them go through the stress of this ridiculous competition. Similar happens at the recruitment competition sometimes where they still ask people to compete when there aren't any vacancies.

I'm not sure I agree. The dancers are supposed to be judged only on their performance at the Concours, not based on their performances during the rest of the season. If no one is promoted it means no one knocked it out of the park at the Concours.

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Congratulations to Kirsher, Melac, Louvet, and Marchand flowers.gif

Apparently the jury couldn't agree on the promotion to premier danseur, so the vacant position will go unfilled this year.

wallbash.gif
My thoughts exactly! If you're not going to promote anybody, don't make them go through the stress of this ridiculous competition. Similar happens at the recruitment competition sometimes where they still ask people to compete when there aren't any vacancies.

I'm not sure I agree. The dancers are supposed to be judged only on their performance at the Concours, not based on their performances during the rest of the season. If no one is promoted it means no one knocked it out of the park at the Concours.

The concours is meant to be points based though. There are three rounds, with a maximum of ten points for each: a fixed variation, a free variation, and an evaluation of the individual dancer's work over the previous year, which rather unfairly depends entirely on how well each jury member knows the dancer in question. I don't think it is ethical to ask dancers to compete in the concours if, prior to the competition, you can't come up with a shortlist of dancers based on the third round alone.

I'm not sure how the jury works after the points are awarded. Is there a vote and is the top ranking dancer only promoted if the majority agree to it, in which case, what's the point in that third round? If the final say falls on the director, then why is there a need for a (costly) competition at all? Gerard Mortier removed the limit on how many etoiles there can be, therefore a vacant position in the premier dansuer rank doesn't leave room for an additional etoile. So, if the decision not to promote anybody was because they would rather one of the promoted coryphees took the position next year, again, why ask them to compete? The whole thing is poorly thought out.

I haven't checked the ONP's website but I presume they didn't publish the top five dancers this year, just the two promoted. Unusual but there is talk Millepied wants to remove the concours, if the staff agree to it.

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I don't know if it means something or not, but this year, in the casting sheet of the concours, they took off the explanation of how the points are distributed in the detailed rules. It just states how the votes are taking into account per round and per position.
I haven't checked the ONP's website but I presume they didn't publish the top five dancers this year, just the two promoted. Unusual but there is talk Millepied wants to remove the concours, if the staff agree to it.

In an article by Telerama this week about the male competition, the journalist mentioned that the dancers were asked this year by a multiple choice questionnaire whether they wanted to keep the concours or not, and the result is that the majority wanted to keep it.

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Results from today women competition are available on POB website.

Are promoted:

Coryphées
- Ida VIIKINKOSKI
- Jennifer VISOCCHI

Sujets
- Léonore BAULAC
- Hannah O'NEILL


Première Danseuse
- Laura HECQUET

5 positions were available in the Coryphées level, only two have been filled

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Results from today women competition are available on POB website.

Are promoted:

Coryphées

- Ida VIIKINKOSKI

- Jennifer VISOCCHI

Sujets

- Léonore BAULAC

- Hannah O'NEILL

Première Danseuse

- Laura HECQUET

5 positions were available in the Coryphées level, only two have been filled

Interesting article about Hannah O'Neill from Pointe Magazine (doesn't seem to require a subscription to read).

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The concours is meant to be points based though. There are three rounds, with a maximum of ten points for each: a fixed variation, a free variation, and an evaluation of the individual dancer's work over the previous year, which rather unfairly depends entirely on how well each jury member knows the dancer in question. I don't think it is ethical to ask dancers to compete in the concours if, prior to the competition, you can't come up with a shortlist of dancers based on the third round alone.

But if the jury can't agree on a top dancer(s) for the Concours variations, then you are promoting solely on the third component (work over the previous year). So then what is the point of having the Concours at all?

I find it interesting that out of 5 promoted, 2 (O'Neill and Viikinkoski) received most of their training outside the POB system.

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Well Ida Viikinkoski spent two years at POB school.

Apparently Ida Viikinkoski was also first in her class during the POB selections in July 2013 when 5 students were employed by the company. She was the first ever Finnish student at POB school and first ever Finnish dancer to be permanently employed by the famous ballet company. Congratulations to Ida and all her former teachers!

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I don't count 2 years as being POB trained. I would call her POB finished. If you don't already have neat feet (or whatever), you're not going to acquire them in the last 2 years at ballet school, regardless of what school it is. Hallberg was the the school for a year, and while people talk about him having attended it, no one calls him POB trained.

I wouldn't normally remark on it, but I did find it interesting given Millepied's expressed desire to expand where the dancers are drawn from.

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Well two years means that she was fit to the style already, otherwise she wouldn’t have been admitted to stay. Most foreign dancers pay for their one year in POB and she remains her second year as a full student.

Quite a few dancers at all levels have only done one or two years at the school coming from other French institutions, mostly Paris Conservatoire. Laura Hecquet, promoted Premiere danseuse, did only the two last years at the School also for example.

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Also, I remember reading an article about Ludmila Pagliero, POB's Argentinian etoile, in which it said that she had not attended the POB school. Correct if I'm wrong. And this happened obviously before Millepied's reign.

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