The ballerinas kept coming and going, pouring in rows from the back of the stage, all in white tutus and surgical masks, walking gracefully in perfect unison.
The spellbinding spectacle, which culminated with nearly 250 dancers in attendance, opened the Paris Opera Ballet’s opening gala on Wednesday evening, broadcast on a private streaming channel, with Taittinger champagne and fancy bites sent to virtual guests.
If the lack of gasps and applause was disturbing, even disturbing, the performances were breathtaking, especially the opening pas de deux danced by stars Hugo Marchand and Valentine Colasante, both in midnight blue Chanel suits. studded with crystals and stars. Chanel and Rolex are key partners in the annual fundraiser.
The 70-minute pre-recorded program marked the first time the Paris Opera dancers reunited on stage at the famed Palais Garnier after an extended absence due to the coronavirus pandemic, making this annual fundraiser particularly poignant. Donations come from private and corporate sponsors as well as donors from its honor committee.
Among the fashion people and VIPs present, the musicians Woodkid and Kiddy Smile, the photographer Sonia Sieff and the designers Alexandre Mattiussi, Pierre Hardy and Aurélie Bidermann.
Haider Ackermann posted clips to his Instagram Stories, his black keyboard visible at the bottom of the frame.
“The opening with all the masks was a striking, beautiful and strange image,” said Yoann Lemoine, known professionally as Woodkid. “I imagine we’ll be watching them in documentaries for decades to come. I found the message of resilience extremely powerful.
He also paid particular attention to the costumes. “The promising and noticeable change for me was seeing ballet tights that matched the skin colors of the dancers,” he noted.
As for his home outfit? “I have to admit I wore my pajamas to watch the gala, it was a very interesting contrast.”
The public can watch the program from January 30 on this link.