Directors, ballet masters, stage directors, choreographers, architects, ... Octave discovers the personalities that have marked the history of the Opera which continues to attract the great names of music and dance.
Jerome Robbins was born in New York into a family of Russian-Jewish émigrés. He received a comprehensive schooling [including classical dance, modern dance, piano, violin, theatre] which, in 1939, prompted him to embark on a career as a dancer. He appeared in several stage musicals and, in 1940, he joined the newly-founded Ballet Theatre, the future ABT. In 1944, he created his first choreographic work, Fancy Free, to music by Leonard Bernstein. Its success would lead him to Broadway and the cinema. In 1948, George Balanchine hired him as a dancer at the New York City Ballet. A year later he became the company’s associate director, after which he became co-director with Peter Martins until 1990. First invited to the Paris Opera by Rolf Liebermann in 1974, Jerome Robbins developed a strong connection with the Paris Opera Ballet, which he came to regard as his second family. Scherzo fantastique and Circus Polka were the first of his works to enter the repertoire followed by Afternoon of a Faun. The following year, he re-staged En Sol. After a ten-year absence, Rudolf Nureyev convinced him to return to the Palais Garnier. Between 1986 and 1996, Jerome Robbins oversaw the rehearsals of In Memory of…, (1986), In The Night (1989), Glass Pieces,Dances at a Gathering (1991), The Concert (1992) and Moves (1993). In March 1996, he was also present for the reopening of the Palais Garnier with a programme that included En Sol, Moves and two new ballets: A Suite of Dances and The Four Seasons. Since the choreographer’s death in 1998, other of his works have enriched the repertoire: Other Dances (1999), The Cage (2001), Opus 19/The Dreamer (2015), The Goldberg Variations (2016) and, as part of a special tribute to him during the 2018/2019 season, Fancy Free.