IT TAKES TWO: For the opening night of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Paris, the director Aurélie Dupont was inspired by a “pas de deux” theme, offering the public a lively program of shows spanning the ages. A bit of something for everyone: flower-adorned tulle skirts — by Chanel — that bounced to the classic music of Franz Schubert while James Blake’s sparse electronic beats sent hips shaking and legs flying.
“It transports you – for a while you just forget about your job,” enthuses Haider Ackermann, savoring the pre-fashion week moment.
“Whenever I get really emotional, I wish I was one of them,” the designer said, recalling that his childhood dream of becoming a dancer was shattered by a series of moves to different countries.
Francis Kurkdjian also dreamed of being a ballet dancer, but suddenly changed his mind at the age of 14.
“I discovered perfume,” he explains. Nevertheless, a classical training – at the École de danse de l’Opéra de Paris, no less – taught him skills for his future in perfumery, he notes, checking off the list: “The sense of Effort, the sense of precision, balance and above all, the idea of filling a space — a good dancer fills the space and that’s why he has an aura on stage.
Among the youngest who showed up for the opening night festivities, Finnegan Oldfield was equally pragmatic about dreams of becoming a dancer: “It’s too late now.”
Yet he had a crack at the art – discovering the fun five years ago when he starred in a French film, ‘Ceux qui dansants sur la tête’, which means ‘Those who dance on the head’ , about street dancers. For his next film project, he will play a farmer.
For Kate Moran – who is filming a Netflix series in France called “Vampire”, as the leader of the Parisian group of bloodsuckers – the evening took her straight back to childhood.
“I started in dancing… but when you see what they do, you can’t say that I’m [a dancer] now,” she laughs.
For much of the crowd, yoga is the sport of choice, including rising actresses Alma Jodorowsky and Rebecca Marder.
“I wouldn’t be able to do that,” Jodorowsky said of the performance she had just seen — she mostly sticks to yoga for exercise.
“I do a little yoga, a little swimming in the pool, I’m not very athletic, not very disciplined,” said Marder, a member of Comedy-French acting troupe – a job known for its rigorous regimen. She plays a young Simone Veil, aged 15 to 35, in the next biopic directed by the director of “La Môme” Olivier Dahan.
Yoga is also one of Vanessa Seward’s favorite exercises, the designer said, wearing an airy black Chanel dress with beaded bracelets. She’s admitted dancing isn’t her forte – and the same seems to be true for her daughter.
“My daughter tried – I could see it running in the family,” she laughed, noting she didn’t protest when her daughter said she was ready to stop taking music lessons. ballet.
Camille Bidault-Waddington’s dancing career was also cut short – she danced from age two to eight, but got into trouble for talking too much.
Caroline de Maigret said she never danced – except in nightclubs, “with pleasure”.
“A little less now,” joked Bidault-Waddington.
Both preferred the piece composed by Rafael Bonachela for the intimacy between the dancers Stéphane Bullion and Eleonora Abbagnato. It was as if they were rolling into each other, a contrast to more traditional storylines where a man carries off his delicate heroine and then prances around her.
Kiddy Smile, who showed up in a bright yellow jumpsuit with fringe and sequins that he designed himself – frustrated with the lack of choice for his tall size – got his start in the dance. “But I traded in my dancing shoes for a [new] hat, to make others dance,” laughed the DJ.
For Blanca Li, who wears the hat of both choreographer and dancer, the evening was pure pleasure.
“I get carried away, I relax – and I try not to focus on the techniques,” she said.
Among the choreographers were George Balanchine – for Tchaikovsky’s ‘Pas de deux’ – William Forsythe, Rafael Bonachela and Serge Lifat – his piece was ‘Variations’, a ‘pas de six’, rather than two dancers. The legacy of Lifat, who revived the Paris Opera ballet in the 1950s by doubling down on technical skills and raising the stature of male roles, was on full display with prima ballerina Hugo Marchand leaving audiences gasping. to his jumps.
The Chanel and Rolex-sponsored gala dinner followed the show, and guests were treated to dishes from top chefs from the Parisian scene, including Tatiana Levha, Manon Fleury, Antonin Bonnet and pastry chef Sébastien Gaudard – who served a cake supposed to evoke a tutu, decorated with macaroons, strawberries and vanilla ice cream.