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HomeDanceJosé Martinez Named Director of Dance at Paris Opera Ballet

José Martinez Named Director of Dance at Paris Opera Ballet


When Aurélie Dupont unexpectedly resigned because the Paris Opéra Ballet’s director of dance final June, the corporate and followers alike have been left questioning who could be subsequent to steer the 154-member troupe. The POB opened its season in September and not using a director of dance, and now, the long-awaited announcement has arrived that José Martinez will take up the position on December 5.    

The Spanish-born dancer isn’t any stranger to Paris. He arrived within the French capital on a scholarship from the Prix de Lausanne in 1987. After solely a yr within the superior division of the POB’s college, he was supplied a contract within the corps de ballet and shortly climbed the corporate’s ranks, all whereas incomes a gold medal at Varna and catching the attention of visitor choreographer Mats Ek. Martinez was promoted to danseur étoile in 1997 following his efficiency of James in La Sylphide. He excelled at a various repertory, together with works by Pina Bausch, William Forsythe and Paul Taylor.

Since retiring from the POB in 2011, Martinez has been busy honing his choreographic and managerial abilities, returning residence to Spain to steer the Compañía Nacional de Danza for eight years. The 53-year-old is credited with having restored a steadiness between the up to date and classical repertory on the Madrid-based firm, an element that probably impressed the POB search committee given the opera home’s personal different and typically controversial repertoire.

The search committee, led by Paris Opéra normal director Alexander Neef, was composed of French dance personalities accustomed to the interior workings of the POB, together with Angelin Preljocaj. After the committee evaluated a number of candidates and interviewed eight of them, Martinez’s completed profession as each a dancer and director, in addition to his “sensitivity to mediation and inclusion will assure the soundness, affect and excellence of the Paris Opera Ballet,”mentioned Neef in a press release.  

“Stability” is a key phrase, because the POB seeks to calm the fast turnover it has skilled since Benjamin Millepied’s short-lived tenure from 2014 to 2016. His successor, Dupont—a former étoile who as soon as carried out alongside Martinez—didn’t keep within the place for much longer and acquired blended critiques for her management. She said that her purpose for leaving was to pursue different artistic tasks. Because of the director of dance’s demanding creative and administrative duties, Martinez has agreed to place apart his profitable profession as a choreographer, focusing solely on directing the POB, except for two beforehand scheduled engagements the place he’ll lead revivals of prior works.

Expressing his pleasure at returning to the POB, Martinez introduced his dedication to uniting artists and workers of the opera home in service to a “mannequin ballet in its creative, human and social commitments.”

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