IV. A living repertoire (since 1990)

© Icare / OnP

Maintaining a balance through the preservation of a classical foundation whilst welcoming new works has been the guiding credo of successive Directors of Dance since the 1990s: Patrick Dupond (1990-1995), Brigitte Lefèvre (1995-2014) and Benjamin Millepied. With the dissolution of the G.R.C.O.P. in 1989, all new works were henceforth commissioned for the dancers of the Ballet. The inauguration of the Opéra Bastille the same year offered a new venue for operatic works, allowing the Palais Garnier to focus on a programme almost exclusively devoted to dance. The variety and the number of ballets offered to the public increased with the advent of mixed evenings and the increasing number of invitations extended to foreign companies, particularly American ones.
Season after season, between 1990 and 2016, the neoclassical repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet became all the stronger for presenting revivals or new pieces by George Balanchine and Jerome Robbins, sometimes updated and enhanced like Joyaux and Le Palais de cristal boasting new sets and costumes by Christian Lacroix. The Ballet was also enriched with new creations and works entering the repertoire from internationally renowned American choreographers hitherto absent from or underrepresented at the Opera. Among them, Martha Graham, Agnes de Mille, Trisha Brown and William Forsythe who, throughout the second half of this period, would maintain an intense and fruitful dialogue with the Paris Opera Ballet.


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