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POB annual competition results (2004)


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#1 cygneblanc

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 10:50 AM

Quadrilles Men
1-Vincent Chaillet(promoted)
2-Jean-Philippe Dury (promoted)
3-Aurélien Houette (promoted)
4-Sébastien Bertaud (promoted)
5-Audric Bezard
6-Axel Ibot

Coryphées Men
1-Julien Meyzindi (promoted)
2-Josua Hoffalt (promoted)
3-Florian Magnenet (promoted)
4-Alexis Renaud
5-Young Geol Kim
6-Grégory Gaillard

Sujets Men
1-Emmanuel Thibault (promoted)
2-Yann Saïz
3-Christophe Duquenne
4-Stéphane Phavorin
5-Mallory Gaudion
6-Nicolas Paul

Quadrilles Ladies
1-Laura Hecquet (promoted)
2-Alice Renavand (prompted)
3-Sarah Kora Dayanova (promoted)
4-Charline Giezendanner (promuted)
5-Daphnée Gestin
6-Charlotte Ranson

Coryphées Ladies
1-Aurélia Bellet (promoted)
2-Mathilde Froustey
3-Aurore Cordellier
4-Pas de classement
5-Pas de classement
6-Pas de classement

Sujets Ladies
1-Emilie Cozette (promoted)
2-Myriam Ould-Braham
3-Dorothée Gilbert
4-Muriel Zusperreguy
5-Fanny Fiat
6-Laurence Laffon

#2 Jane Simpson

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Posted 23 December 2004 - 11:15 AM

Thibault promoted???? Well, well - there will be some very happy fans!

#3 Estelle

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 08:42 AM

Thanks for posting the results, cygneblanc !

I'm happy to see that Laura Hecquet, Alice Renavand, Charline Gienzendanner and Josua Hoffalt got promoted, as I had liked their work in the corps de ballet (this is not meant to criticize the other dancers who were promoted, I just had fewer opportunities to see them).

The new premiers danseurs are a bit surprising: Thibault because he has been a sujet for about ten years (he's 30 now) and would have had many opportunities to be promoted earlier (and some have criticized his partnering skills), but it seems the direction has changed its opinion about him, as he recently got his first big role (Basilio in "Don Quixote") and Cozette because most POB fans expected either Dorothée Gilbert or Myriam Ould Braham to be promoted, as they had already danced with success some important roles during the season. Personally I have seen Thibault only in a few roles (virtuoso pas de trois or solos) and can't say much about him, and am a bit disappointed with Cozette's promotion as I have found her quite bland and not very musical so far...

#4 cygneblanc

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Posted 24 December 2004 - 09:39 AM

Well, the results of POB competitions are always surprising, although the surprises may be good :D or bad :D . As far I'm concerned, I'm rather disapointed with this year surprises pour the premier danseur, ladies and men and happy for the quadrilles ladies.

Congratulations to everyone who competed :) !

#5 Natalia

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 11:30 AM

Bravo for Thibault! My goodness, he should have been promoted back when he was dancing the Autumn in Robbins' 'Four Seasons'...he was so spectacular even then!

Surprised that this year's gold medalist at Varna, Mathilde Froutsey, was topped by Aurelia Bellet in the promotions from the Coryphee (into Sujet) category. Is Bellet that fabulous? Sorry, I've never seen her.

I'm also a bit surprised that Dorothee Gilbert ranked only 3rd in the list of Sujets (into Premiere D.), with only Cozette having been promoted. Would this be because Gilbert was promoted to Sujet fairly recently? How often does POB see dancers who are promoted every single year?

Didn't Ould-Braham dance Aurora in Beauty, recently? She, too, was topped by Cozette...who must be pretty special.

How much of the results are based on the actual day of competition & how much as on the recent body of work from each competitor?

Last question: Isn't it true that the POB management can decide to raise a Sujet to an Etoile, skipping the Premiere D. rank? It could be that POB management has bigger things in store for Ould-Braham or Gilbert, feeling that Cozette will remain at P.D. status? Just curious.

#6 Estelle

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 12:29 PM

Surprised that this year's gold medalist at Varna, Mathilde Froutsey, was topped by Aurelia Bellet in the promotions from the Coryphee (into Sujet) category. Is Bellet that fabulous? Sorry, I've never seen her.


Actually, it seems to me that so far Bellet has been cast mostly in modern dance roles, and I haven't seen her that much...

I'm also a bit surprised that Dorothee Gilbert ranked only 3rd in the list of Sujets (into Premiere D.), with only Cozette having been promoted. Would this be because Gilbert was promoted to Sujet fairly recently? How often does POB see dancers who are promoted every single year?


I don't think that being promoted last year was a problem for Gilbert, as for example
among the men, Josua Hoffalt had been promoted to coryphée last year, and got promoted this year to sujet; for example Mathieu Ganio had been promoted quickly from quadrille to sujet too. Being promoted every single year is not very common given the small number of positions and the large number of candidates (especially among the quadrilles, where there often are something like 25 dancers competing for 2 or 3 positions), but it happens.

Actually, I think that it was a surprise to many POB fans that Gilbert wasn't promoted, considering that she was given several big roles during the season ("Concerto Barocco", "Etudes", the main female role in the second cast of Trisha Brown's new work, alternating with Aurélie Dupont...) and was considered quite successful at it.

Didn't Ould-Braham dance Aurora in Beauty, recently? She, too, was topped by Cozette...who must be pretty special.


Yes indeed, Ould-Braham did dance Aurora recently (quite unusual for a sujet- but it seems that the POB direction is far less strict about hierarchy than it used to be, as more and more corps de ballet dancers are given chances to perform major roles).

How much of the results are based on the actual day of competition & how much as on the recent body of work from each competitor?


That's a tough question... If I remember correctly, there is a mark given by the administration, but in fact almost everybody gets the top mark, as it depends only on how often the dancers have attended the classes and rehearsals (perhaps cygneblanc could give more details about it ?). Theoretically, the marks depend only on what is done on the day of the competition... But in fact, what has been done during the seasons counts too. But for example, a dancer who has had a great season but is in poor shape on the day of the competition and fails his/her variation has very little chance to be promoted.

Also sometimes there are some conflicts among the jury (which includes 10 people: five dancers elected by the corps de ballet - dancers not involved personally in the competition, so étoiles, premiers danseurs, or "senior" corps de ballet dancers who have given up competing-, and the director of the Paris Opera, now Gérard Mortier, the director of dance, now Brigitte Lefèvre, the ballet master in chief, now Patrice Bart, and two "exterior" people, this year the former étoile Monique Loudières and the Pina Bausch dancer Dominique Mercy) and it can lead to unexpected results. For example, about a decade ago everybody expected either Agnès Letestu or Delphine Moussin to be promoted to première danseuse, but the jury couldn't find a consensus about any of them... and Nathalie Riqué ended up being promoted.

Being promoted to premier danseur means that the dancer won't be obliged to dance corps de ballet roles any longer. But the direction has no obligation to give them major roles either, so some dancers aren't cast much after their promotion, for example it seems to have been the case with Nolwenn Daniel (who later was absent for a season because of maternity leave); some premiers danseurs get almost as many major roles as the étoiles, while other mostly dance some less important roles.

Last question:  Isn't it true that the POB management can decide to raise a Sujet to an Etoile, skipping the Premiere D. rank? It could be that POB management has bigger things in store for Ould-Braham or Gilbert, feeling that Cozette will remain at P.D. status? Just curious.


Yes indeed, the POB direction can raise any dancer to Etoile (even a quadrille if they wished- I don't think it has ever happened, but I think it might have happened in the 1940s or 1950s that a coryphée was promoted directly to étoile, perhaps Michel Renault). For example, a few months ago Mathieu Ganio was promoted from Sujet to Etoile (he was expected to have a great career, but his being promoted so quickly was quite a surprise for everybody, as he's only 20 and had danced only two important roles before being promoted).

It is indeed possible that Gilbert or Ould-Braham could get promoted directly to étoile- but it seems unlikely to me that it'd be for that reason that they didn't get promoted to première danseuse... Perhaps it was simply that Cozette danced better variations on that very day.

And it's really hard to make any kind of prediction about the POB promotions. For example Thibault is 30 and has been a sujet for 12 years, after a very quick rise at the beginning of his career, and even many of his fans were losing hope to see him promoted someday. Also last year, Isabelle Ciaravola was promoted to première danseuse while being already 31 or 32, even though it was often thought that the chances of promotion after 30 were close to zero (I believe she was the oldest dancer promoted to première danseuse in at least two decades). Also Marie-Agnès Gillot was promoted to étoile after a performance of Carolyn Carlson's "Signes", and I think it was the first promotion ever to take place after a modern dance work. And for example, a few seasons ago, eveybody expected Eleonora Abbagnato to be promoted to principal very quickly, and now nothing is sure, on the other hand Laetitia Pujol became an étoile after a period when she was given very few roles by the direction... So anything can happen ;)

By the way, the official results are announced on the POB web site (also giving the ages of the promoted dancers):

http://www.opera-de-...s.fr/?Rub=ALire

#7 Natalia

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 02:17 PM

Thank you for the thorough answers & wonderful insight, Estelle. The pool of talent within the POB ranks seems endlessly strong....and mostly 'home-grown'....a great testament to the school and Claude Bessy's high standards. I'm sure that Platel is doing her best to continue the traditions as new head of the school.

#8 cygneblanc

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 03:25 PM

Well Estelle, there are two marks:

The first one is given by the dance management on a ten scale and marks "the professional conscience and the assiduity during the past year".

The second mark is given by the jury on a twenty scale and "is based on the appreciation of the candidate's performance the day of the competition".

You have explained very well the system. I can try to find time to translate the rules if some peope are interested in.

#9 Estelle

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Posted 27 December 2004 - 04:16 PM

cygneblanc: thanks for the explanation.

Natalia: Platel has given some interviews recently, and it seems that she is continuing Bessy's policy, but with a few changes (and in my opinion, improvements): for example, the students will be allowed to have a mobile phone to contact their families (before they could only phone their families using one phone booth in the school, which must have been complicated as there are many students), there will now be a nurse and a nutritionist at the school and the students will be able to see a physiotherapist (that was one of the main complaints of the official report of 2002 criticizing the school), and also she'd also like the students to have a better musical education. All that sounds very promising (and she seems to have a less harsh personality than Claude Bessy...)

#10 Naoko S

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Posted 30 December 2004 - 10:48 AM

Hmm it's interesting.... The result of the competition gives one this impression that the higher weight was put on the rating given for actual competition rather than daily contributions by the dancers.

For instance, I too cannot recognise who Mlle Aurélia Bellet is - although it turned out in the current La Belle run I must have seen her at least once as one of the three <pierres précieuses>, whereas I saw Mlle Aurore Cordellier, who ended up in the last position in the competition, literally countless times in the ballet, often in major soloist roles. In fact, as recent as on 26th December, while watching her dancing la Fee's Sixieme variation and the pdd in pierres précieuses - the roles danced by then première danseuse Gillot in the DVD - I thought she might have got promoted! Over the year, as a Coryphées dancer, this young lady has already been given more opportunities to dance big roles in classical repertoire than anyone else - that leds me to wonder how the title/rank in the company really matters to certain <outstanding> dancers......

#11 Estelle

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Posted 04 January 2005 - 01:58 PM

An article (in French) about the POB competition, by Gérard Mannoni:

http://www.altamusic...cRef=2286#Ancre


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