Report from the 28 October 2022


27 October 2022World Ballet Day 2022 5 November 2022PARIS OPERA BALLET PROMOTIONAL COMPETITION 2022

Director of the Paris Opera Alexander Neef has named José Martinez Dance Director this Friday, October 28, 2022.

José Martinez, 53, is the former artistic director of the Spanish National Dance Company and Etoile dancer of the Paris Opera Ballet. He will take up his post on December 5, 2022, after the Premiere of his ballet Le Corsaire in Tallinn, Estonia. He will then succeed Aurélie Dupont who left her post on 31 July 2022.

Student of the Rosella Hightower Centre in Cannes and then the Paris Opera Ballet School, José Martinez joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 1988 and was named Etoile in 1997 at the end of a performance of La Sylphide. After his final bow to the stage on July 15, 2011, he became Director of the Spanish National Dance Company where, during 8 years, he managed to forge a new identity to the Company, in a tense economic and social context. He has been working as an independent teacher and choreographer since 2019.

José Martinez will devote himself exclusively to his activity as the Paris Opera dance director, thus renouncing his activity as a choreographer, except for two previous engagements in Bordeaux (June 2023) and in Stockholm (October 2023), where he will lead the revivals of his ballets.

Alexander Neef: “José Martinez’s brilliant career as dancer, his experience as dance company director and choreographer, as well as his sensitivity to mediation and inclusion will ensure the stability, influence and excellence of the Paris Opera Ballet”.

José Martinez: “I would like to thank Alexander Neef for his trust, and I already look forward to being back at the Paris Opera. I am aware of the Ballet’s incredible potential as well as the challenges the Company is currently facing and I wish to serve it entirely. I will work to achieve this by seeking the best possible cohesion between all of the company's dynamic forces and by obtaining the support of the dancers and teams of the Paris Opera in order to build together a project that will keep the company at the top of its art and make it an model ballet in its artistic, human and social commitments.”

Alexander Neef was helped in his choice by a selection committee, chaired by Bernard Stirn, Honorary President of the the Paris Opera Board of Directors and member of the Institute, and composed of Carolyn Carlson, Charles Jude and Angelin Preljocaj.

A total of 23 applications were received, of which 9 were women and 14 men. Of all the candidates, 11 were of French nationality and 12 of foreign nationality. The selection committee interviewed 8 candidates and made their recommendations to the Paris Opera director, who decided to interview four of them (two women and two men).

Alexander Neef's final choice was José Martinez.

As stated when the recruitment process was announced, all applications and projects will remain confidential.

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