Neither the Palais Garnier nor the Opéra Bastille will be open to the public on the European Heritage Days because of the third edition of the Festival Le Monde. However, and for the first time, the Paris Opera Ballet School will open its doors on this very occasion.
Several tours of this heritage, symbol of the cultural transmission, will be offered free of charge on September 17th from 10am to 6pm.
The Paris Opera Ballet School is the oldest of its kind, founded in 1713 by Louis XIV to train future dancers for the Royal Academy of Music and Dance, the forerunner of the Paris Opera. The School was directed by prominent Ballet Masters until 1960s and was then provided with an independent management. With Élisabeth Platel – Danseuse Étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet – as Director since 2004, the French School of Ballet, which celebrated its 300th anniversary in 2013, is evidence of a rich education passed on from master to pupil, drawing its exceptional vitality in an ongoing dialogue with the Paris Opera Ballet.
A new building, ordered by Claude Bessy former Director of the School, was established in Nanterre and designed by Christian De Portzamparc in 1987. It was conceived in order to reproduce spatially the different times in children’s day. Three building wings connected by walkways stand aside one another on a vast parcel of land bordered on one side by the town and nature on the other: the dance building, the general education and administrative wing, and the hall of residence.