Laurent Hilaire takes over in May 2022 from Igor Zelensky as Director of the Bayerisches Staatsballett. Hilaire presented the season's ballet programme during today's Bayerische Staatsoper and Bayerisches Staatsballett press conference. The programme includes premieres by choreographers Alexei Ratmansky and Paul Lightfoot
Laurent Hilaire is the new Director of the Bayerisches Staatsballett. Along with the season's programme, the new management was presented today. Alongside General Manager Serge Dorny, Bavarian State Minister of Science and the Arts, Markus Blume, presented Hilaire as the Munich ensemble's new director.
Hilaire takes up office on 9 May 2022 succeeding Igor Zelensky who, after seven years, announced at the beginning of April 2022 that he was leaving the position for personal reasons.
Laurent Hilaire became a member of the Ballet de l'Opéra de Paris after completing his training at the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1979. In 1985 he was appointed as an Etoile by Rudolf Nureyev and remained as such at the Paris Opera Ballet for 22 years. Together with Élisabeth Platel, Sylvie Guillem, Isabelle Guérin, Élisabeth Maurin and Manuel Legris, Laurent Hilaire belongs to the so-called “Nureyev generation”.
He was a guest soloist with the Royal Ballet in London, Milan's La Scala, American Ballet Theatre, the Australian Ballet and the Staatsballett Berlin. In 2011 he was appointed as “Maître de ballet associé à la direction de la danse”. Then, he worked closely with Brigitte Lefèvre, artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet. Since 2017, Laurent Hilaire was artistic director of the Stanislavsky Ballet. He stepped down from this position in February 2022.
Laurent Hilaire presented the 2022-2023 season's programme that has mixed bill productions by Alexei Ratmansky and the choreographer duo, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. The 2022-2023 programme was planned by Igor Zelensky.
December 2022 will see the premiere of Ratmansky's Tchaikovsky Overtures (working title), a choreographic examination of various overtures by Tchaikovsky.
The 2023 Ballet Festival Week opens at the end of March with the Schmetterling double bill by the Dutch choreographer duo, Sol León and Paul Lightfoot. The performance includes Silent Screen (2005) and Schmetterling (2010), created for the Nederlands Dans Theater. Choreographer Sol León and her artistic partner Paul Lightfoot are making their house debuts at the Bayerisches Staatsballett.
The start of the Munich Opera Festival brings with it another edition of Heute ist morgen (Today is tomorrow) in the Prinzregententheater as the season's third premiere.
REVIVALS AND REPERTOIRE 2022-2023
The coming season welcomes the return of the two classics, Romeo and Juliet by John Cranko, and La Bayadère by Patrice Bart.
Also in the new season is a triple bill, Passages, Christopher Wheeldon's Cinderella and George Balanchine's Jewels. The narrative ballets, A Midsummer Night's Dream by John Neumeier and Coppélia by Roland Petit, complete the coming season's programme.
Laurent Hilaire – biography
Director of the Bayerisches Staatsballett
In 1979, graduated from the school of the Paris Opera, Laurent Hilaire joined to Paris Opera Ballet. In 1985, he is appointed as an “Etoile” by Rudolf Noureev after a performance of Swan Lake. His repertoire included the leading roles in ballets by Pierre Lacotte, George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Serge Lifar, Rudolf Nureyev, Mikhail Fokine, Kenneth MacMillan, Roland Petit, Maurice Bejart, Merce Cunningham, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Angelin Preljocaj, among others.
He was a guest soloist with the Royal Ballet in London, Milan's La Scala, American Ballet Theatre, the Australian Ballet, Ballet of the Berlin Staatsoper. His permanent partners were Sylvie Guillem, Isabelle Guérin, Elisabeth Platel, Altinai Assylmouratova, Darcey Bussell, Alessandra Ferri and Svetlana Zakharova.
Since 2005 he held the position as Ballet Master at the Paris Opera Ballet. He worked on ballets by Jerome Robbins, Pierre Lacotte, Rudolf Nureyev, Serge Lifar, George Balanchine, Maurice Béjart, Angelin Preljoicaj, Jiří Kylián, William Forsythe, Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Alexei Ratmansky, among others.
In 2011 he was appointed as “Maître de ballet associé à la direction de la danse” working closely with Brigitte Lefèvre, artistic director of the Paris Opera Ballet. In this position he took part in the creative planning of the ballet repertoire and was responsible for the entire production process of the Paris Opera Ballet.
As a ballet master he worked also with the National Ballet of Canada, Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, the Royal Swedish Ballet, La Scala di Milano, Shanghai Ballet Company and more.
From 2017 to 2022 he was artistic director of the Stanislavsky Ballet. Under his direction ballets by Alexander Ekman, Serge Lifar, William Forsythe, George Balanchine, Paul Taylor, Jacques Garnier, Marco Goecke, Ohad Naharin, Johan Inger, Trisha Brown, Angelin Preljocaj, Sharon Eyal, Andrei Kaidanovsky, Max Sevaguin, Hofesh Schechter entered the repertoire of the Stanislavsky Theatre.
In 2018 and 2019 the Stanislavsky Ballet received the “Golden Mask” award respectively as the best classical ballet and best contemporary ballet of the year in Russia. In February 2022, he resigned as Artistic Director of the Stanislavsky Ballet.
Other awards include: Benois de la Danse (2004, 2007), Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (2004), Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres (2007), Médaille de la Renaissance française (2019).
In May 2022 Laurent Hilaire was announced as Director of the Bayerisches Staatsballett.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.