(with excuses to Bruce - also posted this on Ballet Alert)
There is news from the Opera School. Claude Bessy gave an interview to Le Figaro on March 29th which I am now attempting to get hold of, having lost that issue. According to hearsay, the interview contains the following information.
Mlle. Bessy apparently THREATENS to EMIGRATE to Australia, owing to the lack of interest in classical dance in France. She says that the authorities - the Culture Ministry et al. - are bitterly opposed to classical dance and have been doing everything possible to eradicate it.
Mlle Bessy, who is now approaching 70, confirms that Elisabeth Platel will head the school as of 2004, and has already begun to work with her. Mlle. Platel having refused to deal with logistics (leaking roofs, et al.), an Administrator has been appointed this week, to deal with such things.
Also very important: the étoiles Gaida and Arbo, who retired this year, have joined the school, and Elisabeth Maurin will join next year on her retirement. All three ladies have made their name in the strictly classical repertory, and Elisabeth Platel has made no secret of her dislike of what is now called "contemporary" dance.
For once, this is positive news. A little hat-tossing into the air may be in order....