Artisan at Heart

Aurelie Dupont, an etoile at the Paris Opera Ballet, puts passion first.
Published in the February/March 2009 issue.

What’s the most amazing thing you’ve ever seen onstage?
The Stevie Wonder concert a few months ago in Paris! Also, James Thiérrée’s performance piece, Au Revoir Parapluie.

What do you enjoy most about your career as a dancer?
I enjoy having a career that I’m passionate about, to be able to achieve as an artist, to meet talented people, but most of all, to be onstage to tell a story.
 

What do you enjoy least?
Sometimes I get tired of always questioning…and then there is the pain that is a part of daily life.

What qualities do you admire in other dancers?
Musicality, generosity and honesty. I have a profound respect for the dancers who are always in the back row but remain passionate.

What qualities do you dislike?
I don’t like dancers who do tricks. That doesn’t touch me. I also don’t like dancers who don’t respect those who are older than they.

How do you prepare your pointe shoes for performance?
I choose my shoes two days before dancing. I try them a thousand times to be sure, and I question even this!


What were your first impressions of the POB when you were a student?
When I was little, I thought that the Opéra was a museum, and I really didn’t understand what I could do there!

To whom or to what do you attribute your success?
To my willpower, my perseverance and to my partner, POB étoile Manuel Legris.

What do you think you will be doing 20 years from now?
My son will be 20 years old. I will probably be having a serious talk with his girlfriend!

What talent do you have that few people know about?
I create jewelry in my little atelier.

How would you like to be remembered?
I don’t have the desire to please at any price. I dance because I love it and to put myself on the line. I want to discover myself, extend my range as an artist. In the end—it’s selfish!

What is your advice for students wanting to be professional dancers?
Never forget who you are while doing this magnificent profession. Dancers are artisans; it requires enormous amounts of work. You must be interested in other forms of art to enrich and inspire you. Respect your partners and those who work with you. Stay humble because you know there is always someone who can be better than you!

What inspires you?
Music, the human species and very good red wine!