It is with deep regret and profound sorrow that Alexander Neef, Aurélie Dupont, Elisabeth Platel, the Ballet and the teams of the Paris Opera have learned the passing away of Patrick Dupond this Friday, March 5th 2021.
Étoile of the Paris Opera, nominated in 1980, Patrick Dupond enjoyed tremendous success in France and abroad. He was Dance Director of the Paris Opera from 1990 to 1995. We lost a great artist, whose name will remain forever attached to the Institution and its history.
Born in 1959, 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, while also taking private lessons with 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 nominated Étoile dancer at the Paris Opera in 1980 for his performance in Vaslaw, a ballet created for him by John Neumeier. He enjoyed considerable success in France and abroad and was invited 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 before taking over as the Artistic Director of the Ballet Français in Nancy. From 1990 to 1995, he held the position of Dance Director of the Paris Opera, taking over from Rudolf Nureyev. During his five-year tenure at the Paris Opera, he invited many avant-garde choreographers belonging to the “Young French Dance” movement, including Odile Duboc, Daniel Larrieu, Joëlle Bouvier and Régis Obadia. He revived the great classical ballets restaged by Rudolf Nureyev (Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadère, Don Quixote) and brought Manon into the repertoire. He called upon the talents of neo-classical choreographers like John Neumeier (The Nutcracker) and Mats Ek (Giselle). He also invited some of the greatest dance companies such as 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.