Last Wednesday, the Paris Opera Ballet held its annual opening gala virtually, as is done these days. The event was initially private, broadcast by the ballet’s guest patrons, but is now online and accessible to everyone.
Like all other ballet companies in the world, the Paris Opera Ballet did not dance its regular seasons. Out of necessity, the ballet world has had to adapt to the pandemic and find new ways to keep dancing. New York City Ballet dug deep into its archives to entertain audiences with a digital season of past recordings, while Miami City Ballet recently staged outdoor productions of Nutcracker.
As the spring season opened, the Paris Opera Ballet continued the show, bringing the dancers back, long awaiting the moment when they could return to the stage, for a dazzling showcase of ballet – and a bit of Chanel.
The program, which lasts just under an hour and ten, begins with remarks by Alexandre Neef, general director of the Paris Opera, and Aurélie Dupont, director of dance at the Paris Opera. The camera pans across the glorious interiors of the Palais Garnier, where no surface has been left unadorned and Chagall’s brushstrokes swirled above the theater chandelier.