Last week, I was lucky enough to spend four days doing work experience at the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse, one of France’s major theatres, with its own in-house opera and ballet companies.
The ballet company is made up of 35 dancers of 12 different nationalities, and performs at least 4 ballets a year of which 2 are new creations.
I learned a lot about all the aspects of the theatre, from the administrative work to opera rehearsals, wig making, and much more… It was really interesting and amazing, and I am now completely certain that it is in the arts that I want to work. I felt very at home.
But my favourite part of course was attending the class and rehearsal of the Ballet du Capitole.
I arrived half an hour before the end of the class, during which the ballet master was showing the dancers short routines for them to copy.
I was fascinated by how fast the dancers picked everything up: the ballet master showed them quite complex exercises once, and they would repeat them without practicing.
The men were incredibly impressive; some of them really looked as if they were flying when they jumped, and were doing 6 or 7 pirouettes so naturally and effortlessly.
The girls were beautiful – almost impossibly graceful and supple – but also very muscular.
Straight after the class, there was a rehearsal for the ballet “Paradis perdus”. The premiere had actually taken place the night before, so the aim of the rehearsal was to touch up and perfect anything that needed reviewing.
The dancers and ballet masters were all perfectionists, and every small mistake was rehearsed as many times as it took to make it flawless.
From what I saw, “Paradis perdus” (”Paradises lost” in English), choreographed by Kader Belarbi (also the Director of Dance), is composed of two very contemporary, modern and extremely meaningful pieces, beautifully interpreted by the dancers.
I have been invited to do next year’s work experience week with the Ballet du Capitole, which I am very excited about.