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A documentary serie of "Profiles of Etoile Ballet Dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet"

A documentary serie by Jean-Marie David

Coproduction with TV Mezzo - 4 x 26 mn - 4 films of 26 minutes each (2006)

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Web of the Paris Opéra Ballet


Intimate and artistic profiles of the greats ballet dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet.

*  AGNES LETESTU, classic dancer and actress

*  PATRICE BART, profile of a Lord of the ballet

JOSE MARTINEZ, a Spanish star in  Paris

*  CLAIREMARIE OSTA, the soul of a star

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Agnès Letestu © photo Jacques Moatti

 « Agnes Letestu, a star with the soul of an artist » 
Long-limbed and elegant, the star dancer Agnes Letestu was, as a young girl, the last student to be taught by Rudolf Nureyev.
Under the guidance of this mythical master, Agnes Letestu developed into a dancer of astonishing precision, notably in her interpretations of the great roles of the repertory, most famously that of Odile/Odette in Swan Lake.
A perfectionist to the points of her shoes, Agnes Letestu displays in this documentary the dazzling array of her talents: not only as a dancer but also as a stylist, choreographer and even an actress under the direction of Jean-Laurent Cochet.
Equally at ease on the stage of the Opera Garnier as in diving undersea (where she has choreographed underwater improvisations), Agnes Letestu generously shares with the viewer her magnificent journey as a star dancer.

José Martinez in the ballet "La Bayadère"

 « José Martinez, a noble spaniard
at the Palais Garnier »
This film presents a captivating portrait of José Martinez, the sole Spanish star dancer of the National Opera of Paris.  Martinez received his earliest training in the Bolero style of classical Spanish dance, and came to France while still in his teens to study classical dance at the Rosella Hightower Institute in Cannes.  He soon distinguished himself in international competitions, notably in Lausanne, which earned him an invitation to join the National Opera of Paris.
José Martinez puts his spectacular physique (a tapered 1.89 meters, or 6’2”) in the service of an original philosophy of dance which includes the great classics, including Swan Lake and The Bayadere, but also astonishing contemporary creations such as Nosferatu of Jean-Claude Gallotta, or the works of the Bolero School, such as Le Tricorne.  He also enjoys improvising flamenco steps, complete with boots and castanets.   Martinez has a parallel career as a choreographer, and currently directs the performances of the Paris Opera Ballet School.
 In this documentary, the viewer is privileged to watch Martinez’ rehearsals, performances, and choreography, and to come to know the daily life and evolving aspirations of this most Iberian French star dancer.

"Swan Lac" Agnès Letestu and José Martinez © Photo Jacques Moatti

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Patrice Bart © photo Icare

 « Patrice  Bart :Portrait of a lord of ballet »
Patrice Bart, the ballet master of the National Opera of Paris, was formed from childhood by this prestigious company in which he has since held every possible role.  After a brilliant career as a star dancer, Bart became the principal assistant to Rudolf Nureyev before later taking on the mantle of the supreme ballet master of the Paris Opera.
A choreographer of international reputation, Patrice Bart reveals the secrets of his art to the viewers of this documentary, focusing on one of his masterpieces, Degas’ Little Dancer.  The camera allows the viewer not only to watch Bart’s direction of dancers in rehearsal, but it also follows him to the upper reaches of the Orsay Museum, where he shows us the paintings and sculptures that inspired his remarkable ballet.
Patrice Bart is a veritable living memory of the world of ballet, and he shares his knowledge by taking the viewer to the heart of the Opera Garnier.  There he invites us to view its rare photographic archives, including those taken at the great Moscow dance competition of 1969, at which Patrice Bart became the first non-Soviet ever to walk away with the grand prize.

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Clairemarie Osta © photo Anne Deniau

 « Clairemarie Osta, the soul of a star »
There is no other dancer like Clairemarie Osta in the world of classical ballet: on the one hand mystical and sensitive, she is also gifted with a wonderful sense of humour.  This young star dancer from Nice does not hesitate to share with the viewer of this compelling documentary her passion for worlds outside classical ballet: an avid gardener, she also loves to tap dance – in fact, she was, at age twelve, the youngest French national tap champion before turning her career to classical dance.
Clairemarie Osta’s partner in life, the star dancer Nicolas Le Riche, is also her partner on stage: in this film we see her perform his choreography of the story of the brutal Roman emperor Caligula, wonderfully set to music by the violinist Maxime Tholance.
The documentary also explores other aspects of the life of this atypical dancer: a mother and an ardent practitioner of yoga, Clairemarie Osta also studies improvisational dance with the famous Canadian choreographer Jill Johnson.  At the same time she continues to inhabit the repertory of classical dance, including lead roles in Paquita and The Bayadere, thus engaging the interest and curiosity of a large audience that reaches beyond traditional lovers of ballet.

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"La Bayadère" Agnès Letestu © photo Jacques Moatti

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