Abbé Perrin (Director of...
At the Paris Opera, Premier danseur represents the second highest grade in the Ballet hierarchy, above the ranks of Sujet, Coryphée and Quadrille. As such, it is the final level before ascending to the title of Étoile Dancer. Jean-Georges Noverre, the Director of the Ballet of the Académie Royale de Musique in Paris and considered by many to be the inventor of modern ballet, introduced the related term “premier sujet” in 1803. At that time, it designated the highest rank in the troupe and would only be surpassed by the title Étoile at the end of the 19th century. Within the Opera, promotion to the rank of Premier danseur is established by an annual competitive examination which includes a freestyle variation and a compulsory variation. The attribution of the title is determined by the decision of a jury which includes the Opera’s Dance Director. The Company currently has eleven Premier danseurs.
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