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Violette Verdy at the Paris Opera

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On 8/29/2020 at 11:21 AM, ECat said:

Indeed!  It must have been very fresh on his mind.

I don't know that it would have been all that fresh. Bart gave the interview at the end of 2006. Ganio's promotion took place in May 2004. After him Wilfried Romoli was promoted when he was already past 40. Delphine Moussin also wasn't especially young, Benjamin Pech was past 30 and Hervé Moreau was in has late 20s, which is about the time most étoiles are promoted.

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I bought another stash of Dance Magazine back issues from e-Bay; this time from 1979. Here is another news item involving Violette Verdy from March 1979:

"As announced by Rolf Liebermann and Violette Verdy, Jacqueline Rayet, who as danseuse etoile created many important roles, has been appointed to the new post of maitre de ballet at the Paris Opera, effective Jan. 1, 1979, through July 31, 1980. In this position she will be charged with taking a group of dancers selected from the corps to foster choreographic creation and to develop interest in the company in the suburbs of Paris and the French country."

Curious that Liebermann and Verdy would pursue this initiative when they each had one foot out the door. I wonder how long the choreographic initiative lasted? (Benjamin Millepied tried this during his tenure and it lasted for one season.)

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From an interview with etoile Ghislaine Thesmar that appeared in the August 1979 issue of Dance Magazine:

"As far as Violette [Verdy] is concerned, I can only say that she is a close friend and to talk about her situation is a very delicate matter. Suffice it to say that when she came to us, she did so with an open heart. She came with so much generosity and enthusiasm and she wanted the very best. But she was also vulnerable, because she came from America where things are far more direct and far clearer. Well, she came to a theater which, for better or for worse, is filled with an incredible amount of red tape. I mean, you must get absolutely everyone's approval and opinion before you can make a single decision. It's like a royal court - I would say a decadent royal court. So, Violette came into this and lost an enormous amount of time and energy just to get the smallest things done. She came into an atmosphere that can eat you up and destroy you,"

"Violette wanted to please everyone and that, of course, is impossible - and she suffered. You see, she didn't play the game, and if you don't play the game, you're finished. It is very likely that Rosella Hightower will take over - I hope she will have the strength. The point is that at the Paris Opera we need somebody very, very strong. I think Peter Martins would make a very good director. [Note: My emphasis] In a sense it's not a question of knowledge or experience, but one of psychological character. You have to be a rock for a company like ours."

"But to be honest about it, no matter who comes in, it really won't change a thing. Ours is a menage that goes on and on, and change is not one of things we are famous for. It's a matter of tradition."

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