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Inside the Opulent Paris Opera Ballet with Marion Motin and Crystal Pite

The Palais Garnier decorated for the occasion of the Ballet Gala Photo: Virgile Guinard Courtesy: Paris Opera Ballet

The enchanting halls of the Palais Garnier in Paris came alive once more as the Paris Opera Ballet celebrated the grand opening of its 2021-2022 dance season with a gala. The legendary marble staircase, a symbol of elegance, served as a majestic centerpiece adorned with arrangements of white flowers. The atmosphere was electric, filled with palpable excitement shared by both the audience and the performers, marking a triumphant return to the cherished venue after the last performances.

Défile de Ballet at The Paris Opera Ballet Photo: Julien Benhamou Courtesy: Paris Opera Ballet

The evening commenced with the traditional Défilé de ballet, a ballet procession showcasing the Étoiles, the Premiers Danseurs, the Corps de Ballet, and the students of the Paris Opera Dance School, under the guidance of Elisabeth Platel. Chanel, a dedicated supporter of the event, added to the grandeur by creating the tutus and tiaras worn by the women Étoiles during the Défilé de ballet.

Gala Opéra Photo: François Goizé Courtesy: Paris Opera Ballet

Following the opening, the gala featured a series of captivating performances. The program included three contemporary choreographic creations: “Horizon” by Xie Xin, “The Last Call” by Marion Motin, and “Singularité plurielles” by Nicolas Paul, with costumes specially designed by Chanel. These thought-provoking pieces pushed the boundaries of dance, offering a fresh perspective on the art form.

The soirée culminated with the acclaimed ballet “Season’s Canon” by Crystal Pite, a masterpiece created for the Paris Opera Ballet in 2016. This virtuoso performance showcased the extraordinary talents of the dancers. The audience’s enthusiastic response, with cheers and bravos raining down from the opera balconies, underscored the emotional significance of this performance.

Dorothée Gilbert and Hannah O’Neill and Amandine Albisson Photo: Virgile Guinard Courtesy: Paris Opera Ballet

As guests meandered through the candlelit, flower-adorned interiors during intermissions, a palpable sense of unity and celebration filled the air. The gala not only marked the return of ballet, but also provided a rare glimpse into the resilience and humanity of exceptional dancers. It was a night when families, friends, and art aficionados came together to celebrate the profound beauty of dance—a testament to the enduring spirit of the arts.

Organized by the AROP, Association pour le Rayonnement de l’Opera de Paris, the gala raised funds for the benefit of the Opera’s activities, in particular thanks to the exceptional support of Rolex, Timepiece of the Paris Opera, Patron of the event, and of Chanel, Major Patron of the Paris Opera, as well as generous donors from the Honorary Committee, individuals and corporate donors.

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