Marie-Agnès Gillot

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Marie-Agnès Gillot
Born (1975-09-07) 7 September 1975 (age 43)
Occupationétoile ballet dancer, choreographer
Years activesince 1990
Height175 cm (5 ft 9 in)
Current groupParis Opera Ballet

Marie-Agnès Gillot born in 1975 in Caen is a French ballet dancer and choreographer with the Paris Opera Ballet.


Childhood and personal life[edit]

The daughter of an accountant and a physical therapist,[1] until starting at the Paris Opera Ballet School at age nine, she lived in Caen.[2]

"She was only 5 when she took her first dance lesson. Despite having double scoliosis, whose treatment would imprison her in a cumbersome back brace for years, she kept dancing".[1]

Career : early stages[edit]

She entered the company at age 15. In 1994, she was promoted to the rank of “sujet,” or soloist. “I had a long wait, another five years, to become "Premiere Danseuse", even though I was dancing all the principal roles (...) And then a long wait to be made an étoile, five years after that. It has never been easy for me.”[2]

Principal dancer[edit]

She became principal dancer - "étoile" in 2004 after dancing "Signes":[3] "It's the first time an étoile has been nominated after dancing a contemporary ballet. I think many people were surprised as modern works are generally considered less important than the classics, although they now represent half the repertoire of the company." [4]

She is the first female in-house choreographer to receive a commission from the Paris Opera Ballet.[2]

Gillot formally retired from the Paris Opera Ballet on 31 March 2018 following a performance of Pina Bausch's Orphée et Eurydice.[5][6]


"Her noble interpretation exhibits an unconscious possession of the emotional state of her role, exorcising any distinction between herself and the fiction she performs."[7]

"Circling each other’s bodies, their limbs flashing into space, or their torsos suddenly buckling and convulsing against each other (here the influence of William Forsythe is visible), Ms. Gillot and Mr. Bezard gradually accrue a remarkable emotional intensity."[8]

“She is especially gifted in a cosmic, mystic realm, capable of transforming that mysticism into movement,” comments Carolyn Carlson, the creator of Signes, the production that led to Gillot's nomination to étoile at 28."[1]

"Today Marie-Agnès Gillot is at the height of her form. Like a fighter in the ring, she conquered scoliosis and climbed up the hierarchical ladder of success at the POB. Powerfully athletic and spiritually enraptured, she is a resolutely 21st-century dancer. Under the stage lights, she projects a glow that is simply majestic, nearly angelic."[1]

Other activities[edit]


She was part of the luxury French brand Céline's Spring/Summer 2015 campaign,[9] shot by Juergen Teller : "I thought of it more as a dialogue between three artists." she declared.[10]

Before that, she was the image of Repetto and appeared in several fashion editorials - alone or together with other principal dancers of Paris Opera Ballet (shot by Philippe Robert in 2008,[11] by Soan & Seng in 2015[12]).

She confirmed her interest into fashion participating in a film by Daniel Askill : "Even where the dancer is more conventionally dressed, the film and choreography work their own transformations. Paris Opera ballerina Marie-Agnès Gillot wears a black lace dress from McQueen, yet as she dances it becomes the shroud of a dying swan, a goth ballgown, the robes of a flying angel".[13]

She was featured in Sia's Eye of the Needle video

"Gillot held court as the Grand Master of the Grand Temple"[14] in Gareth Pugh's Fall 2016 show that took place at the art deco Freemasons’ Hall in Covent Garden during London Fashion Week.


As an activist, she became involved with children's causes, AIDS, Cancer, and women's issues.[15] As an ambassador of Doctor Jacques Leibowitch’s ICCARRE (Intermittent, in Canny short Cycles, Antiretrovirals may Retain Efficiency), she performed, alongside Marianne Faithfull and the sisters, Katia and Marielle Labèque, at the Jean-Paul Gaultier headquarters in 2015.[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dance Magazine – If it's happening in the world of dance, it's happening in Dance Magazine". Archived from the original on 2015-05-01. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  2. ^ a b c Sulcas, Roslyn (2 November 2012). "A Shining Star at the Paris Opera Ballet". New York Times. New York, United States. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  3. ^ "étoile: Marie-Agnès Gillot" (Press release). Paris Opera Ballet. Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 3 November 2012.
  4. ^ "Culturekiosque". Culturekiosque. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  5. ^ "Ballet's most unlikely star takes her final bow". CTV News. AFP. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  6. ^ Atanasio, Sofia (2 April 2018). "Marie-Agnès Gillot a fait ses adieux sur la scène de l'Opéra de Paris". France Musique. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  7. ^ Daris, Gabriella (October 25, 2015). "Review: The Melomania of Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker in "Bartók/Beethoven/Schönberg"". Blouin Artinfo. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
  8. ^ Sulcas, Roslyn (2008-09-24). "Robbins's People Cross Paths in Paris". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  9. ^ "Joan Didion stars in Céline Spring/Summer 2015 campaign". NY Daily News.
  10. ^ "meet joan didion's céline side-kick: french dancer marie-agnès gillot | read | i-D". Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  11. ^ "Mode:Entrez dans la danse!". Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  12. ^ "Un peu plus près des étoiles". Le Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  13. ^ Mackrell, Judith. "Jefferson Hack's fashion-dance mashup: Dancers from Tanztheater Wuppertal perform in Prada". the Guardian. Retrieved 2015-06-07.
  14. ^ "Fall 2016 Collections: Marie-Agnès Gillot Stars in Gareth Pugh's LFW Show | Artinfo". Artinfo. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  15. ^ "Marie-Agnès Gillot bids farewell to the stage". Opéra national de Paris. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
  16. ^ "Marie-Agnès Gillot & Marianne Faithfull at the Jean-Paul Gaultier HQ for ICCARRE | Artinfo". Artinfo. Retrieved 2018-03-08.