Abbé Perrin (Director of...
Patrick Dupond entered the Paris Opera’s Ballet School in 1969 at the age of ten for the three-month preparation course and continued his training there whilst also taking private lessons under the guidance of Max Bozzoni. He joined the Paris Opera’s Corps de Ballet in 1975 and became a Quadrille in 1976. That same year, he won the Gold Medal and the Grand Prize at the Varna International Ballet Competition. In 1977, Roland Petit gave him his first role as a soloist in Nana. Promoted to Premier danseur in 1979, he danced Maurice Béjart’s Boléro. He was elevated to the rank of Étoile dancer at the Paris Opera in 1980 for his performance in Vaslaw, a peice created for him by John Neumeier. He enjoyed considerable success in France and abroad and was solicited by many of the great choreographers of the era, including Maurice Béjart (Salomé), John Neumeier (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Rudolf Nureyev (Romeo and Juliet), Alvin Ailey (On top of the Precipice), Roland Petit (Le Jeune Homme et la mort, Le Fantôme de l’Opéra), Robert Wilson (Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien), Alwin Nikolais (Schema) and Twyla Tharp (Push comes to shove, Grand pas). He left the Paris Opera in 1987, returning as a guest Étoile prior to taking over as Artistic Director of the Ballet Français in Nancy. From 1990 to 1995, he held the position of Dance Director of the Paris Opera, succeeding Rudolf Nureyev. During his five-year tenure at the Paris Opera, he presented numerous choreographed works by figures from the vanguard of “Young French Dance”, including Odile Duboc, Daniel Larrieu, Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia. He also revived the great classical ballets which Rudolf Nureyev had restaged (Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadère, Don Quichotte), he brought Manon into the repertoire, and he called upon the talents of neo-classical choreographers like John Neumeier (The Nutcracker) and Mats Ek (Giselle). Moreover, he invited some of the great dance companies, including the Nederlands Dans Theater, the Béjart Ballet Lausanne, the Martha Graham Dance Company, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company, the Tanztheater Wuppertal, the Paul Taylor Dance Company and Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker’s Rosas Company.
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