Noëlla Pontois

(b. 1943)

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(b Vendôme, 24 Dec. 1943)

French dancer. She studied at the Paris Opera Ballet School and joined the Paris Opera Ballet in 1961, becoming principal in 1966 and étoile in 1968. For the next 25 years she was the company's prima ballerina. Although she created roles in a number of contemporary ballets, she was most celebrated for her interpretations of the 19th-century repertoire, to which she brought an outstanding refinement and authority, as well as a thrilling facility for balances. She created roles in Petit's Adage et variations (1965), Extase (1968), and Mouvances (1976), Descombey's Jazz Suite (1966) and Zyklus (1966), Flindt's Jeux (1973), Alonso's Pas de quatre (1973), Robbins's Scherzo fantastique (1974), Macdonald's Diabelli Variations (1974), and Pendleton's Pulcinella (Nancy, 1984). She appeared as a guest ballerina abroad, with companies such as London Festival Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. She retired from the Opera in 1983. In 1988 she began teaching at the Paris Opera Ballet School. Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur (1984).

Subjects: Dance.

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