Noëlla Pontois, the striking, lithe and fiercely technical former étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet, was renown for her interpretation of aristocratic roles in 19th-century ballets. In this 1983 performance from Rudolf Nureyev's production of Raymonda, Pontois is at her most imperious and entrancing in the title role's wedding variation.
Dancing before a gilded set that matches her glittering tutu, Pontois exudes haughty glamour. Her contrasting staccato accents and luxurious movement create palpable drama, and energy radiates from her hands and intense gaze. As the variation quickens, Pontois sustains both controlled momentum and her regal persona, pulling the audience into her orbit. Happy #ThrowbackThursday!