20, allée de la Danse…
The Paris Opera Ballet School was settled in Nanterre 30 years ago on a vacant lot, creating a whole new neighborhood in the town.
When we catch sight of the building from the diagonal alley, we cannot perceive its greatness. We need to cross the discreet entry door to let the wings of the school spread: a curve for the boarding house building, a cube full of serenity and wisdom for the academic part and, finally, the mysterious and impressive circle of the dance building. These three distinct worlds are linked by a patio and walkways allowing the circulation, and reminding us that we are in the theater world.
Light-flooded through many huge windows, the main hall, today called the “Espace Claude Bessy”, leads to the studios thanks to a staircase with elegant, almost choreographed curves, taking the visitor to the rooftop of the school with a view on the park and the town.
The building of the Paris Opera Ballet School, designed by Christian de Portzamparc , contemplates the future, combining majesty and softness. For thirty years, it has sheltered the future dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet.
“I am filled with emotion while standing on this stage et realizing it is still possible. With the painful events we endured these past few weeks, in Paris and in France, leading a child or a teenager through an artistic path is more than a resilient act. It is a proof that we exist.
I would like to deeply thank everyone backstage, the whole team of the Palais Garnier we are very pleased to join. I also want to say to my team, working with me every day at School, that they are doing an amazing job.
Finally, my thoughts are with my teachers, pianists and pupils because thanks to them, I am strong. We are strong. So, let’s dare!”
Elisabeth Platel – Opening speech of the Ballet School Demonstrations – December 5th, 2015
Few students took part in the production Paquita for the 2014/2015 season and toured in Copenhagen with the Ballet of the Opéra national de Paris.