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Paris Opera Ballet

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Palais Garnier in Paris

The Paris Opera Ballet (in french: Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris) is the oldest national ballet company in the world. It was founded in 1669. The Paris Opera has had many different official names during its long history, but since 1994 has been called the Opéra National de Paris (Paris National Opera).

It performs principally at the Palais Garnier and Opera Bastille in Paris.

The company has 154 dancers and retirement is set at 42 and a half. It is directed by the dance director, Aurélie Dupont, a former danseuse étoile from 1994 to 2015.

The ballet gives 180 performances per season (from September to June).

Most of the company's dancers were trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School (in french: École de danse de l'Opéra national de Paris).

Hierarchy[edit | edit source]

The dancers of the company have different grades:

  • 5th grade: Quadrille
  • 4th grade: Coryphée
  • 3rd grade: Sujet
  • 2nd grade: Premier danseur
  • 1st grade: Étoile

The corps de ballet is made up of quadrilles, coryphées and sujets.

To pass to the higher grade, it is necessary to pass a promotion contest except for the Étoile grade which is given on appointment after a representation.

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