Paris Opéra Ballet School

France

www.operadeparis.fr/cns11/live/onp/L_Op...

The Paris Opera Ballet School will be celebrating its three-hundredth anniversary in 2013. The oldest ballet school in the western world is also the world cradle of classic academic ballet. It was founded during the reign of Louis XIV, which started and ended with two decisions that made ballet a sovereign art form:

* the creation of the Académie Royale de la Danse in 1661,
* the creation of the Ecole de l’Académie in 1713 “to raise subjects capable of occupying employments that lack manpower”.

The school’s initial vocation has remained unchanged. The school’s mission is "to train ballet dancers and provide dancers with professional training” (official decree dated 5th February 1994 establishing the status of the Paris Opera).

By moving from the court to the theatre, dance became a professional activity. It was necessary to train performers for the Opera.
For a long time, the school was housed in the Opera buildings, premises not particularly adapted to its teaching mission. It was in fact the living conditions of the students from this period that resulted in the nickname for students at the school: “petits rats de l’Opéra” (little rats of the Opera).
It was not until 1987 that the school, then run by director Claude Bessy, was given a made-to-measure location, bringing together dance training, academic training and boarding school. These modern, purpose-built premises, located in Nanterre, were designed by architect Christian de Portzamparc.

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The Paris Opera Ballet School will be celebrating its three-hundredth anniversary in 2013. The oldest ballet school in the western world is also the world cradle of classic academic ballet. It was founded during the reign of Louis XIV, which started…

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