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The Dance School

The Paris Opera Ballet School was established by Louis XIV’s royal decree in 1713; it welcomes each year nearly 150 students, who are recruited after a highly selective competition. The School passes on the style and technique of the French School of ballet, develops the young artists’ talents, allows them to discover the large repertoire of the Paris Opera Ballet and introduces them to different contemporary languages.

The unique teaching program is based on the repetition of movements and on direct transmission from master to student. Each year, this method allows a handful of senior dancers to enter the Paris Opera Corps de Ballet, following a competition that takes place in July.

The Paris Opera Ballet School is exceptional in its longevity, its legacy of remarkable teachers and its long artistic tradition. Since 1987, it has been based in Nanterre, in the suburbs of Paris. Étoile dancer Élisabeth Platel has been Director of the School since 2004.

Each season, public classes and the annual show take place on the Palais Garnier stage and offer a large audience the opportunity to appreciate the demanding requirements of the student’s education. During these performances, the students present the skills that are required to master the codes of French Ballet technique, and provide an overview of the other dance styles and arts that complete their training: contemporary dance, folk dance, mime, character dance, baroque dance and musical expression.


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The Paris National Opera would like to thank the Paris Opera Ballet School donors for their support:

  • Philippe et Karine Journo

  • Elizabeth Chandler

  • Yleana Arce Foundation

  • Yolanda et Paulo de Barros Barreto

  • Sergio Habib

  • Akiko et Tomonori Usui

  • Eduardo Mazzilli de Vassimon

  • Silvane et Fued Sadala

  • Fatima Xavier Otero

  • Stan Zingerenko