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La Dame aux Camélias at Palais Garnier

Stéphane Bullion and Agnés Letestu. Foto: Sébastien Mathé

Stéphane Bullion and Agnés Letestu. Foto: Sébastien Mathé

A beautiful premiere of the ballet La Dame aux Camélias at Palais Garnier last night

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. The choreographer John Neumeier is presenting his idea of how this history shall be danced. Based on the roman by Alexandre Dumas, fils, In the leading roles Agnés Letestu as Marguerite Gautier and Stéphane Bullion as Armand Duval. Music by Frédéric Chopin.



 When John Neumeier is the choreographer, I am shure that some thing extraordinary will happen. He has the special feeling for making a balletperformance exciting, giving it the little extra. As in this performance, the close relationship between the musicality in the Chopin music used and the dancers. By using a kind of leading themes, he is too giving us the moods through the music, and then letting the dancers and their various characters´subjective development follow up and perform the atmosphaeres. Neumeiers choreography touches me.


 Agnès Letestu is beautiful performing the titelrole, she has the tendernes and the softness, together with the strenght in her technique, which is deliciouse.

 Stéphane Bullion not only has the technique and beauty to the leading male role as Armand Duval
. In addition he is strong, – he in deed need to be so, as he is not only lifting his female partner, Agnès Letestu, he is carrying her around and lifting up and down looking like she is a light feather, and of course she is not. It is extremely difficult and demanding to handle this male role with so much beauty and looking like it is easy. To carry around the female partner so much, and in addition having the power to, him self, to look allways good and to manage to dance his conplicated part. Bravo!

In this performance at Palais Garnier, there is as usual, many different casts. At the premiere of this revival, which was number 43, we enjoyed the beautiful Agnès Letestu as Marguerite Gautier and the brilliant, handsome looking and splendid Stéphane Bullion as Armand Duval, I expect that  Stéphane Bullion will very soon be Etoile at the French National Ballet as he has all the wonderful qualityes to be Etoile, furtherone he is all the time dancing the most exclusive leading roles together with primaballerinas, so now it must be the right time to let him be Etoile.  He underlines the parallell between the respective destinies of Marguerite Gautier, a renowned Parisian courtesan, which falls in love with Armand Duval.

In other roles we enjoyed Béatrice Martel as Nanina. Michäel Denard as Monsieur Duval, the father of Armand. Laurent Novis as the Duke. In the different parts Isabelle Ciaravola as Manon Lescaut, Chirstopher Duguenne as des Grieux, together with Florian Magnenet, Julien Meyzindi and Alexis Renaud. Juliette Gernez as Olympia and Josua Hoffalt as Garton Rieux. 

John Neumeier provides his ballet with his own novelistic tools. In his Dame aux Camélias dance is both story and suggestion, a dive into the real world and an inner voyage through time and space.assisted John Neumeier with the lighten scenography and good delicious costumes by Jürgen Rose and Rolf Warters lights . This production was originally choreographed in 1978. It was premiered in Paris in 2006.  When John Neumeier in 1978 proposed his version of La Dame aux Camelias for the Stuttgart Ballet he returned to Dumas´sons original text to reveal its romantic and tragic essence.

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