Sylvie Guillem

(b. 1965)

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(b Paris, 23 Feb. 1965)

French dancer. The most internationally famous ballerina of her generation, for whom the term superballerina was coined. After early training as a gymnast she studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School (1977–80) and joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 1981. A protégée of Nureyev, possessed of an extraordinarily powerful and supple body and uniquely glamorous stage presence, she quickly came to prominence and created leading roles in a number of ballets, Forsythe's France/Dance (1984), van Dantzig's No Man's Land (1984), Armitage's GV 10 (1984), Child's Premier Orage (1984), Christe's Before Nightfall (1985), and Béjart's Mouvement-Rythme-Étude (1985). She was promoted to étoile in 1984 after her first performance of Swan Lake. In 1986 she created the leading role in Nureyev's Hollywood-era Cinderella and a principal role in Béjart's Arepo; in 1987 she created a leading role in Forsythe's In the middle somewhat elevated and in Neumeier's Magnificat. In 1989, following a disagreement with Nureyev, she moved to London's Royal Ballet, where she became a principal guest artist. Her repertoire with the Royal Ballet included the leading roles in Giselle, La Bayadère, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Swan Lake, Romeo and Juliet, Month in the Country, Manon, Don Quixote, Symphony in C, Grand Pas Classique, Herman Schmerman, and In the middle somewhat elevated. In 2000 she also inherited Fonteyn's role in the first revival of Ashton's Marguerite and Armand thereby sealing her development from dazzling technician to a dance actress of subtlety and power. In 2002 she took the title role in the Royal Ballet's staging of Mats Ek's Carmen. As a classical ballerina Guillem guested worldwide, but while still at the peak of her international fame she followed the example of Baryishnikov by exploring other forms of dance. Her collaboration with the modern choreographer Russell Maliphant resulted in two award-winning creations, Broken Fall (2003) and Push (2005); she also worked with Maliphant and Robert Lepage on Eonnagata (2009). In 2006 she collaborated with Akram Khan on the duet Sacred Monsters. In 1998 she staged Giselle for the Finnish National Ballet. Gold medal Varna 1983. Pavlova Prize (1989).

http://www.sylvieguillem.com Sylvie Guillem's website

Subjects: Dance.

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