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Paris - the Olympic Games & Ballet: 5 Breath-taking French Women from Ballet's History

As Paris prepares itself to host the Olympic Games, let's take a moment to celebrate the city's rich ballet history and the legendary ballerinas who have graced its stages.

opera garnier paris ballerinas

Paris, the city of lights, is not just a hub for art and culture; it's also a treasure trove of ballet history. And as we prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games, it's the perfect time to delve into the stories of some of the most influential ballerinas who have made their mark on the Parisian stage.

Aurélie Dupont

Aurélie Dupont is a true embodiment of elegance and artistry. Principal dancer with the Paris Opera Ballet for over two decades, her amazing technique and emotive performances have captivated audiences worldwide. Her journey from a young student at the Paris Opera Ballet School to becoming its director is a testament to her dedication and passion for ballet.

I fell in love with her in 2010 when I watched Cédric Klapisch's documentary on her life: L'espace d'un instant.

Sylvie Guillem

The dream to be in the French Olympic team for rhythmic gymnastics led Sylvie Guillem to become the acclaimed ballerina in the world, appointed as an étoile at only 19 years old at the Paris Opera Ballet by Nureyev himself.

My greatest inspiration in dance since she's not only a tall dancer, just like me (1,72) and vegan, but also because she wanted freedom from a very strict dance culture. And that's how she became a legend. Exquisite technique, incredible and almost inhumane body and complete devotion to the art.

Yvette Chauviré

Regarded as one of France's greatest ballerinas, Yvette Chauviré was a prodigy child at the Paris Opera and her career spanned over four decades. Her grace and expressive artistry earned her the title of "prima ballerina assoluta"! Indeed, she was. Her “velvet and steel” style inspired many dancers and her "Gisele" and "Swan Lake"interpretation still lives on.

Marie Taglioni

Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Marie was trained under her father, the Italian Filippo Taglioni, and made her fame in the Parisian stage of the Paris Opera. She was one of the first women to dance on the extreme tips, or points, of the toes. She created a new style marked by floating leaps, such balanced poses as the arabesque, and a delicate, restrained use of the points becoming the greatest Romantic Ballerina.

As Paris welcomes athletes from around the globe, we also celebrate its storied ballet heritage and the incredible women who have shaped it. Their dedication, talent, and innovation continue to inspire and remind us of the enduring beauty of ballet.


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