Jerry Lewis could have done better choreography) or Pierre Lacotte's 1972 adequate reconstruction of La Sylphide (not as good, I thought, as Victor Gsovsky's earlier attempt for Petit), but my rating of the company among the majors was pretty much the lowest of the low. By now the troupe was involved in a succession of directors. There were fine dancers, but no company. I caught the occasional "event"--Helgi Tomasson's guest debut as Albrecht in Giselle, for example, or the revival of Yuri Grigorovich's Ivan the Terrible, with the marvelous Jean Guizerix (a great Robbins interpreter, by the way), Dominique Khalfouni and, also a favorite at ABT, Michael Denard. Yet I still didn't take Paris's dancers as seriously as its cooking until I had an awakening in October 1977. Every year the Paris Opera holds promotion examinations for its dancers-apart from the etoiles and the senior soloists--with a jury consisting of the Paris Opera administration, a delegation of dancers, and a few foreign outsiders, who in 1977 consisted of Kenneth MacMillan, Asaf Messerer, and myself. I realized that since Bessy had taken control of the ballet school some five years earlier, the standard of the younger dancers had risen. But seeing them en masse was an extraordinary experience. Bessy and her teachers had formed a troupe to reckon with--an instrument for dance. It is Rudolf Nureyev who, rightly so, is given the credit for pushing the POB into the first rank. His inspiration, with his prescient promotions and his inculcation ora sense of style but even more aspiration, was vital. But the dancers were there before Nureyev took command of the company in 1983, and they remained after his resignation in 1989. And they are there today, even though the school, to judge from its appearance in New York last year, is not currently producing dancers
18 RANDOM September 2013
Dancers figure out the correct movements during rehearsal.
Final Project for Rhode Island School of Design Summer Institute for Graphic Design Studies, Magazine Design course. This is a school projec...