Paris Opera Ballet Loses Its Second Head in Six Years
Six years in the past Benjamin Millepied shocked many within the ballet world by resigning as director of dance on the august Paris Opera Ballet, simply over a 12 months into the position.
Now, in one other shocking transfer — and with unusually brief discover — Aurélie Dupont, his successor, has additionally resigned. On Thursday, Dupont stated in a information launch that she could be leaving the 353-year-old firm on July 31. She “needs to dedicate herself to non-public tasks,” the discharge stated. These tasks included a e book and documentary movie. She additionally wished to spend extra time together with her household, it stated.
“I’m leaving this magnificent establishment with a sense of accomplishment,” Dupont stated within the launch. “My best delight is having contributed to the emergence of proficient artists, dancers and choreographers,” she added.
The Paris Opera will arrange a range committee to decide on her successor, the discharge stated.
When Dupont was named the top of Paris Opera Ballet, in February 2016, she had solely not too long ago retired as an étoile, or star dancer, on the firm. She was meant to deliver stability to the establishment after Millepied had spent a 12 months struggling to modernize it, together with making an attempt to make its ranks extra numerous.
Dupont’s inventive imaginative and prescient was very totally different than Millepied’s. She leaned towards commissions from choreographers of latest dance fairly than these centered on classical method; and she or he didn’t attempt to retain an affiliation with the choreographer William Forsythe that Millepied had initiated.
But her time in cost was additionally turbulent. In April 2018, the corporate was plunged into disaster when the outcomes of an nameless questionnaire about dancers’ views on the corporate had been leaked to the French media.
In that 179-page doc, 77 % of dancers who responded to the survey stated that they had skilled or witnessed verbal harassment, whereas 26 % stated that they had skilled or witnessed sexual harassment. Virtually 90 % answered no to the query, “Do you’re feeling you profit from prime quality administration?” The doc featured a number of reducing nameless feedback seemingly aimed toward Dupont, together with: “The present director appears to haven’t any administration competence, and no want to accumulate any.”
There was one other storm in 2019 when the Paris Opera Ballet introduced that Sergei Polunin would carry out as a visitor in “Swan Lake,” regardless of a string of homophobic social media feedback and posts trumpeting his then love of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Inside days, Dupont canceled his look.
Dupont additionally had to deal with the coronavirus pandemic shutting the ballet for lengthy stretches and her dancers happening strike to protest deliberate adjustments to their pensions. In September 2020, she obtained a brand new boss when Alexander Neef turned the Paris Opera’s director basic.
Some within the French press on Thursday praised her time on the establishment. Ariane Bavelier, writing in Le Figaro, stated Dupont was leaving the corporate “together with her head excessive.” The corporate “was serene once more,” Bavelier added, saying its program struck a good stability between basic and up to date works.
Philippe Noisette, a dance journalist for Paris Match and Les Echos, stated in a phone interview that “everyone was shocked” by Dupont’s departure, particularly at such brief discover.
Dupont had success artistically, Noisette stated, particularly in nurturing younger stars. A number of the firm’s loyal viewers blamed her for not selling François Alu, a fan favourite, to étoile. This April there have been shouts of “Aurélie, resign!” after Alu carried out in “La Bayadère,” Noisette stated, however Alu achieved the rank within the subsequent efficiency.
Neef, wishing her success in her subsequent transfer, stated within the information launch that Dupont would all the time be “one of the eminent figures of the Paris Opera” and that he would help within the seek for her successor.
Roslyn Sulcas contributed reporting
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