Cuerpo de ballet de la Ópera Nacional de París
© Sébastien Mathé / Opéra national de Paris
The Paris Opera Ballet is today considered to be one of the world's finest companies. The average age is 25, making it one of the youngest. Its repertoire is very extensive, ranging from the major romantic and classical ballets to creations by contemporary choreographers.
The Ballet currently stages some 180 performances per season in Paris, the French regions and abroad.
154 dancers | 16 étoiles | 16 premiers danseurs
Dancers usually join the ballet between the ages of 16 and 20 and continue their career through to the age of 42.
The ballet is directed and managed by the Company Director, Brigitte Lefèvre, assisted by an Administrator, Olivier Aldeano, a Ballet Master, Patrice Bart, directly associated with the Company Director, two ballet masters, four assistant ballet masters, a stage manager and five assistant stage managers. 7 teachers run daily morning lessons. The afternoons are set aside for rehearsals which can also be held in the evening when there is no performance.
Practically all the dancers are trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School.
Admittance to the corps de ballet is organised on the basis of an annual competitive entrance exam and proportional to the number of available places.
The annual corps de ballet exam allows dancers to move up the echelons of the hierarchy: quadrille, coryphée, sujet, premier danseur.
The étoiles are appointed by the Director of the Opera on the basis of recommendations made by the Company Director.
The Company is located at the Palais Garnier. Lessons and rehearsals are most frequently held in the 4 classrooms, the 5 rehearsal rooms (Lifar, Noureev, Petipa rooms, Chauviré and Zambelli) and occasionally in the Foyer de la Danse. If ballets are performed at the Opéra Bastille, dancers have appropriate facilities there: dressing rooms and rehearsal rooms (Nijinski and Balanchine rooms).