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Emmanuel Thibault is retiring from the Paris Opera Ballet.

 

I vividly remember watching Paquita at the Garnier, my companion was seeing Thibault dance for the first time, he was so excited at what he saw, he nearly went over the parapet.  He is, unsurprisingly, a huge admirer of Lopatin too.

 

Thibault had an army of admirers, his first leading role was in Don Q., conveniently a matinee, that had fans from across Europe congregating in Paris for the event, Clement Crisp and John Percival were sitting together in the front row of the stalls.  The atmosphere was very special and the POB students chanted his name 'Manu!, Manu! at the curtain calls.  I had hoped that reception would have made the POB management reconsider his position within the company but it wasn't to be.  Apart from Don Q. his only other lead role was Colas in Ashton's Fille and unsurprisingly he was the best in the role I've ever seen.  I sincerely hope he gets an opportunity to pass on his skills to the next generation.

Edited by Jan McNulty
Edited to add in first sentence to make sense of newly created thread
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Thibault's Mercutio last spring was a dream, too.

 

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22 minutes ago, MAB said:

I vividly remember watching Paquita at the Garnier, my companion was seeing Thibault dance for the first time, he was so excited at what he saw, he nearly went over the parapet.  He is, unsurprisingly, a huge admirer of Lopatin too.

 

Thibault had an army of admirers, his first leading role was in Don Q., conveniently a matinee, that had fans from across Europe congregating in Paris for the event, Clement Crisp and John Percival were sitting together in the front row of the stalls.  The atmosphere was very special and the POB students chanted his name 'Manu!, Manu! at the curtain calls.  I had hoped that reception would have made the POB management reconsider his position within the company but it wasn't to be.  Apart from Don Q. his only other lead role was Colas in Ashton's Fille and unsurprisingly he was the best in the role I've ever seen.  I sincerely hope he gets an opportunity to pass on his skills to the next generation.

Ha, I remember sitting there at the Paquita premiere in something of a funk because Legris, who had initially been cast as Lucien, had been replaced, and then Thibault came out in the pas de trois and it was "Whoa, who IS that?"  I wasn't near the parapet, but I certainly sat up a whole lot straighter!

I was unable to see his Basilio (a source of regret), but I did see his wonderful Colas and Mercutio, as well as many other great performances in smaller roles.  He certainly never had the career his talent deserved, whether for emploi or other reasons.

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I saw that Paquita on the 30th December 2003, with Maurin and Paquette in the leading roles, it was the first time I was able to put a name to Thibault's face, I'd always been transfixed by him in the corps, but before then I'd never worked out who he was.

 

I do hope someone here will attend his final performance, it would be wonderful to hear a report.

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Unfortunately, I saw Thibault last time in 2008 at Maximova & Vasiliev Jubilee where he danced Grand Pas Classique with Myriam Ould Braham.

Wonderful to remember Emmanuel Thibault' performances. However, have we got a suitable topic on Opera for that?

Edited by Amelia

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3 hours ago, Amelia said:

O yes, there was definitely some similarity between Thibault and Lopatin, both perfect technically and expressive artists as well. The ballet critic Katherine Kanter, a  great admirer of Thibault, was the first who advised me to see him. Alas, the Opera's long serving boss missed a chance to reward that outstanding talent.

 

 

Not just "the Opera's long serving boss", Millepied and Dupont too. As cruel as it may seem, there is nevertheless certain rationale behind it (I am not going to discuss it here). I saw Thibault two nights ago, next week he will be dancing at Palais Garnier for the last time.

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7 hours ago, assoluta said:

 

Not just "the Opera's long serving boss", Millepied and Dupont too. As cruel as it may seem, there is nevertheless certain rationale behind it (I am not going to discuss it here). I saw Thibault two nights ago, next week he will be dancing at Palais Garnier for the last time.

 

Millepied's tenure was short and Dupont has barely got her feet under the table, it would be unusual for a dancer of his age to be promoted by them anyway.  Thibault's dancing was close to perfection, please do not sully his memory by alluding to yet another of your conspiracy theories,

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I've moved these posts from the Bolshoi thread and created this new thread where Paris Opera Ballet news can be discussed.

 

I added one sentence (in bold) to the first thread to make more sense of these posts as a result of the move.

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Thank you, Janet.

Assoluta, I am very much looking forward to your review and description of the farewell atmosphere accompanying the retirement of the great dancer. 

Yours envious,

Amelia

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On 7/4/2017 at 08:35, MAB said:

 

Millepied's tenure was short and Dupont has barely got her feet under the table, it would be unusual for a dancer of his age to be promoted by them anyway.  Thibault's dancing was close to perfection, please do not sully his memory by alluding to yet another of your conspiracy theories,

 

I take strong exception at your rude insinuations directed at me, "my conspiracy theories" concerning Thibault are the product of your vivid imagination, I am afraid. There is absolutely nothing to "sully his memory" in my post, just a reminder that there are some things in terms of professional qualifications that not-always-well-informed balletomanes may not be aware of. Considering my remark about Millepied and Dupont passing over Thibault -- neither Millepied's tenure was "too short", nor Dupont "barely got her feet under the table", or "it would be unusual". Aurélie Dupont, in fact, has been very much in control of the company for the last 18 months and has already made a number of significant personnel decisions affecting the company. Both of them could have easily rectified the situation if they wished.

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Not a vivid imagination, just a good memory concerning your previous posts on a number of threads where veiled accusations are left hanging in the air.

 

As this is a discussion board, kindly state what you mean rather than casting aspersions on a much-loved dancer,  I'm afraid " certain rationale behind it (I am not going to discuss it here)." is not a courteous response, the whole point here is discussion.

 

And who pray are the "not-always-well-informed balletomanes " you are referring to?  Might that not apply to yourself?

Edited by MAB
grammar corrected
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Few critics have written about Emmanuel Thibault more eloquently than the Paris based critic Katherine Kanter, here is an extract from a much longer essay from her  August Vestris Society site
 

"Only a few, rare individuals, go down onto the stage with the actual musical text in their head. They are NOT dancing squarely on the beat, and they are NOT emphasising the purely melodic aspects of the text. They are engaged with the music, they hold ironic conversation with the conductor, playing with rubato - discreetly - and syncopation - discreetly ! They cast the mind forward to the onrushing musical events, and anticipate them, one night pointing to certain of the score’s features, and another night - unexpectedly - to others. A musical surprise, that nonetheless always strikes one as right."


All professionals have a developed ability to produce, by an act of the will, precise geometrical shapes. This is what the notion of "Line" in the ballet, refers to.


In a great artist, like the gentleman who is the subject of this article, beauty of line is actually a musical concept of a higher order, the domain where ideas in a most abstract form, can be conveyed without the use of words. That is why when people note, let us say, the attitude, or the arabesque, of such people, it strikes them as the true and original form of that figure, non pareil. It is sober, it is terse, it has become the essence of the IDEA behind that figure. But those geometrical forms are not perceived "silently". Thus - and this really is most peculiar, it is Unheimlich, most eerie, the image of the step calls up the precise passage in the music, even in a score that one had not heard before. In infinite profusion, these geometrical forms are generated, countless in number and of imperishable beauty, and to a degree, that long after a performance, one will still be rehearsing them in one’s mind. One is no longer dealing with "steps, to music". It has crossed over the border, to become a fully-integrated work of art."

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He is a wonderful dancer but his Widow Simone was an over the top pantomime dame that Alexander Grant had to tone down. Whilst enjoying the transvestite nature of the role he missed the humanity. The best Simones, including ex-BRB dancer James Barton, play the role as a woman, not as a man playing up gender stereotypes. That said, I will miss him. he was grossly underused, but his technique and personality always lit up the stage.

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21 minutes ago, SheilaC said:

He is a wonderful dancer but his Widow Simone was an over the top pantomime dame that Alexander Grant had to tone down. Whilst enjoying the transvestite nature of the role he missed the humanity. The best Simones, including ex-BRB dancer James Barton, play the role as a woman, not as a man playing up gender stereotypes. That said, I will miss him. he was grossly underused, but his technique and personality always lit up the stage.

 

I wasn't aware he danced Simone, I've only seem him as Colas, which season did he dance it in?  Seems odd casting to me.

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'Concours de recrutement' 2017 Paris Opera Ballet 

 

Changing the subject somewhat (this is my first post as a newbie to the forum btw) yesterday was the Paris Opéra Ballet's annual internal recruitment audition for the corps de ballet - interesting to see that Australian Bianca Scudamore (Prix de Lausanne finalist 2015) was one of the only two female dancers selected and congratulations to her! She has been studying at the Paris Opéra school and shone in the school's annual performance this year - definitely one to watch I think.

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Thank you - looking forward to the future discussions!

 

Following on from my first post re - Paris Opéra Ballet internal recruitment - it would seem that Miss Scudamore was ranked first and if I believe rightly, means that she automatically is promoted to a coryphée next year?  Following in the balletic footsteps of Hannah O'Neill maybe....

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@ MAB

 

I kindly request that you stop discrediting me and distorting what I actually write. Concerning Thibault, your insinuations are completely baseless.

 

Certain professional aspects of ballet are beyond the limits of what ballet enthusiasts are expected to know, which doesn't mean that they should be discussed in open internet fora. In my posts I remind of this simple truth, especially when fantasies are accepted as facts, while I know the facts directly from the source.

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Assoluta,

 

My credentials are that I have been an avid ballet-watcher for 33 years now and a dance watcher for the 10 before that.  I have never had a dance lesson in my life.  I am an enthusiast rather than an expert and if I watch something and like it I am quite happy to say so.  I tend not to mention things (rightly or wrongly) if I haven't liked them.  I have some very favourite dancers and a very few I don't care for.

 

Could I please ask you what your credentials are?

Edited by Jan McNulty
Edited to correct a word
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Here are more results from the Concours de Recruitment: http://www.dansesaveclaplume.com/a-la-barre/431254-concours-de-recrutement-externe-2017-du-ballet-de-lopera-de-paris-les-resultats/

 

Two external girls have been engaged but, although Joseph Aumeer (ex RBS student who had a temporary contract with POB this year) came first among the men, he does not seem to have got a contract - yet.

 

I have to confess that I cannot fathom the POB system at all. These competitions are held very late in the year when other opportunities have come and gone. Some of the entrants have danced in most of the productions throughout the preceding season but are still left hanging in the air. At least with the RB's Aud Jebsen scheme, apprentices know where they stand around January each year and can look elsewhere.

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I will not 'out' fellow posters, but I am aware of the identities of a couple here who have worked in the dance world at the very highest level, for myself I worked at a somewhat lower level as an assistant to the contemporary dancer/choreographer William "Louther for some years in the 1980's and more recently I did a stint as a sound engineer with a touring Russian ballet company. 

 

"Certain professional aspects of ballet are beyond the limits of what ballet enthusiasts are expected to know" 

 

I find that beyond insulting considering one contributor here is a former prima of international fame.  A huge cross section of the ballet world post in or read this forum and I feel more courtesy should be shown to them.

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9 hours ago, capybara said:

Here are more results from the Concours de Recruitment: http://www.dansesaveclaplume.com/a-la-barre/431254-concours-de-recrutement-externe-2017-du-ballet-de-lopera-de-paris-les-resultats/

 

Two external girls have been engaged but, although Joseph Aumeer (ex RBS student who had a temporary contract with POB this year) came first among the men, he does not seem to have got a contract - yet.

 

I have to confess that I cannot fathom the POB system at all. These competitions are held very late in the year when other opportunities have come and gone. Some of the entrants have danced in most of the productions throughout the preceding season but are still left hanging in the air. At least with the RB's Aud Jebsen scheme, apprentices know where they stand around January each year and can look elsewhere.

 

It seems bizarre to run an audition, rank everybody and then actually PUBLISH it for all to see. It's a bit like going for a job interview and having the results made public....Feel so sorry for those further down the list. Well done to Joseph though - shame there doesn't seem to be a full contract for him yet but the system is mystifying. 

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12 hours ago, capybara said:

Two external girls have been engaged but, although Joseph Aumeer (ex RBS student who had a temporary contract with POB this year) came first among the men, he does not seem to have got a contract - yet.

 

An explanation seems to have been added to the listing as follows:

 

"No recruitment for Joseph Aumeer but his first place should leave him all chances next season after only one year as a supernumerary and without going through the School of Dance."  [Google translation!]

 

It's obviously a long, hard road in Paris if a dancer hasn't trained there.


 
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On ‎05‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 21:20, SheilaC said:

He is a wonderful dancer but his Widow Simone was an over the top pantomime dame that Alexander Grant had to tone down. Whilst enjoying the transvestite nature of the role he missed the humanity. The best Simones, including ex-BRB dancer James Barton, play the role as a woman, not as a man playing up gender stereotypes. That said, I will miss him. he was grossly underused, but his technique and personality always lit up the stage.

 

On ‎05‎/‎07‎/‎2017 at 21:46, MAB said:

 

I wasn't aware he danced Simone, I've only seem him as Colas, which season did he dance it in?  Seems odd casting to me.

 

The POB online archive does not show Thibault in the role of Widow Simone? https://www.memopera.fr/FicheOeuv.cfm?OeuCode=FIM 

Thibault's main roles here https://www.memopera.fr/FicheArt.cfm?ArtNumInt=4073

 

 

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12 hours ago, capybara said:

 

An explanation seems to have been added to the listing as follows:

 

"No recruitment for Joseph Aumeer but his first place should leave him all chances next season after only one year as a supernumerary and without going through the School of Dance."  [Google translation!]

 

It's obviously a long, hard road in Paris if a dancer hasn't trained there.



 

 

It seems like they gave contracts to 2 girls and 4 boys from the Paris Opera School, as well as the 2 girls from the concours. What's the point of the Concours if you can't give a contract to the first place boy who has already proved himself for a year? I'm all for preserving traditions but this system seems crazy! 

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I think that we have to remember that the POB school is the feeder school for the company and that the organisation prides itself on having a company made up almost entirely of dancers who share the POB style because they share the same training.. 

 

According to the Dansomanie website Aumeer is far from being the first dancer with real potential who has failed to gain admission to the POB through the external concourse after working as a supernumerary for the company. I assume that the company will be willing to use him next season as a super. It will be interesting to see whether Aumeer decides to stay in Paris and try again next season or whether he decides to apply for a place in the ENB corps. The company is anxious to recruit a number of male dancers and the closing date for applications is just over a week away.

Edited by FLOSS

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28 minutes ago, FLOSS said:

I think that we have to remember that the POB school is the feeder school for the company.......

 

Of course we know this FLOSS!!!!!!

 

Please would you be so kind as to give us the dansomanie link? My French is not bad but I can't for the life of me navigate that website.

 

 

 

Edited by capybara

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On the Thibault topic: its a shame indeed, that he was never promoted to Etoile. His talent was evident even as child. There is this fragment in a documentary about POB school where we can see Roland Petit coaching a very young Thibault in the role of the Drumming Boy in his Les Forains, a technically difficult solist role usually preserved for the most promising male students. To shine a light on why he never got promoted: I have a friend who knows him, and many other POB dancers, and talks to them regularly. She says it was his short height that kept him from being an Etoile. The company prefers tall danseur nobles like Mathieu Ganio for example, because they are better at partenering than their short colleagues. This is also why François Alu hasnt been promoted yet, and it explains why younger (but taller) dancers like Hugo Marchand and Germain Louvet got a promotion before him. Its a pity, because iv never seen a problem with his partnering at all, especially when paired with Myriam Ould Braham for example. An absolute dream couple!! 

 

Scudamore will not be nominated to Coryphée automatically, by the way. The dancers who win the concours get a permanent contract and will be joining as Quadrille. For the next concours they will be starting all over again, if they choose to compete. 

 

I think the reason why no male dancer was offered a contract was because they already had four from the internal concours? Or maybe no one was 'good enough' to get a contract? I remember last year Loick Pireaux (a POB school graduate!) ended first but didnt get a contract- the empty spot was then offered to Katherine Higgins, who was in third place. A pity for Pireaux but what a pleasant surprise it must have been for Higgins. 

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I would guess Thibault to be five foot ten, I agree not many etoiles during his career, except perhaps Le Riche and Legris, under six foot.  Quite a few small female dancers as potential partners for him though.

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