The idea of creating a ballet came to Brigitte Lefèvre, the Ballet's dance director, after reading Martine Kahane's research about Degas' sculpture La Petite Danseuse de quatorze ans. Though numerous exhibitions, books and films had already been dedicated to Degas and dance, until then, no choreographic work had ever really done so.
Choreographer Patrice Bart and composer Denis Levaillant were to translate the intrinsic modernity of a 19th century story into music and the language of the stage. From a mere investigation, the ballet became a quest to recreate the imaginative world of classical dance through the works of Degas.
Rudolf Nureyev – Agnès Letestu (Odette), José Martinez (Siegfried) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris
Angelin Preljocaj – Nicolas Le Riche (Siddharta), Aurélie Dupont (L'Éveil) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris