Aurélie Dupont, director of the Paris Opera Ballet, will leave her position on 31 July to “devote herself to personal projects” it was announced today.
The 49-year-old former étoile with the company has had battles with members of the company as well as receiving negative press from critics about some of her artistic choices, since succeeding Benjamin Millepied as director in 2016. She says that she has “a book, a documentary and a musical” lined up, and that she wishes to devote more time to her family.
A source close to Dupont told Agence France-Presse: “She always wanted to leave the institution before her 50th birthday, she has been at the Opéra for forty years as a dancer and then director.” Her surprise resignation was accepted by Alexander Neef, director-general of the Paris Opéra.
Dupont said in a statement:
I leave this magnificent institution today with a sense of accomplishment. My greatest pride is to have helped nurture talent of dancers and choreographers,” she wrote in the statement.
François Alu – recently promoted to the top rank of Paris Opera Ballet dancers – had been someone oddly overlooked for promotion by Dupont and critics took her to task in the press. Then, after a performance of La Bayadère at the Opéra Bastille, when fans anticipated the announcement of his promotion after the performance – as is tradition – with Aurélie Dupont and Alexander Neef onstage, there was no announcement and members of the audience shouted, “Dupont, resign!”
Alu was promoted a few days later, on April 23, but the France-Presse source said that the affair had nothing to do with Dupont's resignation.
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.