The company will be on stage for 5 days at the Palais Garnier with 6 performances of William Forsythe’s postmodern ballet »Impressing the Czar«. Keep reading to stay up to date with our dancers on tour:
January 1st, 2017
At 9 o'clock our first group made their way to the Leipzig Airport by bus. After some minor fog-related delays they were back on track with a flight to Paris by way of Munich! Our second group was blessed with a less exciting journey and traveled by plane from Dresden over Frankfurt onto Paris. We arrived at Paris Airport early in the evening and went to the city center. After two flights and, for many, a short New Year's Eve night most of us enjoyed a relaxing evening at the hotel. However, curiosity overtook some of us and we went to the Paris Opera house for the first time to admire our stage for the next week!
January 2nd, 2017
Well-rested we started our first rehearsal day in Paris. Stepping into the opera house we were fascinated by the building’s interior and every last one of us felt a deep sense of pride at being able to perform there. After training we carried on with rehearsals for the upcoming shows while the technicians started to setting up the lighting and sets.
January 3rd, 2017
Our second Parisian day consisted of rehearsals all day long! The hall where we do training is still breathtaking and our first commemorative pictures in front of the theatre have already been taken! Meanwhile our engineers worked on the stage lighting so we were perfectly lightning for our final dress rehearsal last tonight.
January 4th, 2017
It`s premiere day! We finished our training and the rehearsals with excitement and anticipation for our premier night in the Palais Garnier. From midday on we had free time and explored the town by ourselves, before we began with final preparations for the show. After everybody had warmed up, visited costuming and make up, the stage call finally came. At 19:30, on time, the curtain rose for our first show at Paris opera! What a magnificent and overwhelming feeling! After a successful show and blistering applause, we celebrated this great show with a reception in the entrance hall of the opera. There were laudatory words from Aurélie Dupont, Directrice de la danse of the ballet of the Opéra National de Paris who promised other guest performances. A great prelude for us!
January 5th, 2017
Today’s been again an exciting day for all and especially for our alternating cast of »In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated«. They were looking forward to their debut so much – which went wonderfully well, however, there’s no day off for a dancer! Hence we started, as always, with daily class and rehearsals plus a few corrections from the night before. Some took the chance to get to know Paris a little bit better in the afternoon, though most of us relaxed before the intense second show. However, who took the time for a stroll in the afternoon, met Paris’ sunny side! A warm atmosphere welcomed us from the audience again, too. Paris loves us – but we LOVE Paris!
January 6th, 2017
A blessedly free morning! Some of us found ourselves in various Parisian cafes enjoying croissants and coffee, we had time before class started at 14:00. Having a performance every night absolutely takes its toll, so others of us found it most luxurious to stay in bed all morning! The clock stuck 19:00 and you know what that means! Curtain up and one more night spent impressing the czar… also there to impress was our foundation; die Stiftung zur Förderung der Semperoper, whose attendance meant a lot to us. For more information on the goals and work of the Stiftung check out the following link: www.stiftung-semperoper.de
January 7th, 2017
Sit down and write a few words - sounds easy right? Not after this day. At 11:00 we were already in class and taking corrections from last night and then we were onto the meat of the day: 2 performances! At 14:30 and 20:00 we gave our all. Performing such an appreciative and enthusiastic audience as the Paris Opera audience was naturally incredibly rewarding, as was having the master William Forsythe there with us. All things considered though: tired could not begin to cover it.
January 8th, 2017
Once more a last toi toi toi, curtains open, and away we go! At 14:30 we danced our last performance of »Impressing the Czar« here in the Palais Garnier. Our fantastic week fairly dashed by and now it comes to an end. We will miss the top team and wonderful theatre here at the Opéra Garnier. No time to hang up the pointe shoes at home, our first performance of »Romeo und Julia« is this Saturday January 14th! Though we look forward to dancing that emotional love story with Prokofjew’s music wafting up from the orchestra pit… before then we’ve got one more night on the town. Parisian nightlife, here we come!
January 9th, 2017
And in the blink of an eye, it was over! We’re sitting in the plane saying »Au revoir et merci, Paris.« We left the hotel at 7:45 and catch our flight at 10:55 to Dresden by way of Frankfurt. We’re done our 2nd tour in the city of love and dancer, but it absolutely won’t be our last.
Photo credits go to Gina Scott, Zarina Stahnke, Thomas Bieszka, Michael Tucker and István Simon.