Mathilde Froustey

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Mathilde Froustey
Born (1985-06-08) June 8, 1985 (age 35)
EducationMarseille National School of Ballet
Paris Opera Ballet Dance School
OccupationBallet, Principal Dancer
Years activeSince 2002
Current groupSan Francisco Ballet
Former groupsParis Opera Ballet
DancesDon Quixote
La Fille Mal Gardée
Giselle 1st Varna International Ballet Competition gold medal

Mathilde Froustey (born June 8, 1985 in Bordeaux, France) is a French ballet dancer.

She is a principal dancer of San Francisco Ballet.[1] Mathilde Froustey was a "Sujet", soloist of the Paris Opera Ballet until 2013.

Early life[edit]

Mathilde Froustey started dancing in Dax in the south of France in 1994 at the age of 9, because ballet training was helpful for her back problems.[2]

In 1998, Mathilde Froustey trained at the Marseille National School of Ballet.[3]

Colette Armand, her ballet teacher in Marseille, recommended she audition for the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School .[2]

Paris Opera Ballet[edit]

Mathilde Froustey started at Paris Opera Ballet School in 1999 and joined Paris Opera Ballet in 2002. She was promoted to the rank of "Coryphée" in 2003.

In 2004, she won the gold medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition with Josua Hoffalt.[3]

In 2005, Froustey was promoted to "Sujet", soloist.

She was one of the founding members of 3e étage, an independent group of Paris Opera Ballet dancers directed by Samuel Murez.

She toured in Japan with Manuel Legris as a member of his group Manuel Legris & Friends. Manuel Legris at the time principal dancer ("danseur étoile") of the Paris Opera Ballet inspired many young gifted dansers several of which became "danseurs étoiles" themselves some time[4] later.

Becoming a principal dancer[edit]

Although Mathilde Froustey appeared on stage in leading roles with the Paris Opera Ballet as of 2006, particularly as Kitri in Don Quixote, she was not promoted to "Première Danseuse", first soloist, with this company.

Not even the artistic director, Brigitte Lefèvre, could explain why the jury consistently didn’t vote for her. Some ventured that her style was too extroverted and virtuosic for Paris, where restraint and purity are valued.[5]

During her career Mathilde Froustey met artistic directors of prestigious ballet companies on several occasions when the directors were in the audience of ballet performances. She was on particularly good terms with Helgi Tómasson and Manuel Legris who both appreciated her as a soloist.

After he had seen her dancing as Lise in La Fille mal gardée in Paris in July 2012, Manuel Legris offered her to join the Vienna State Ballet as principal dancer telling her at the same time to stay the Paris Opera Ballet a little bit more.[6] Mathilde Froustey didn't wait too long.

She was the first top-notch dancer leaving the Paris Opera Ballet for years[7]

San Francisco Ballet[edit]

In January 2013 Mathilde Froustey accepted an offer from Helgi Tómasson, to become a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet.[6][8]

Mathilde Froustey and Helgi Tómasson met each other already in 2006 at a competition in Paris through José Martinez, danseur étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet.[9]

When she made a long-distance call inquiring about a job here, a contract arrived in the mail a week later. This was the first time that a principal dancer entered the San Francisco Ballet bypassing the audition process.[1]

On Stage[edit]

Kitri in Don Quixote is Mathilde Froustey's dream role.[10][11]

She is highly appreciated for her interpretation of Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée.

"Froustey was the Lise that dreams are made of."[12]

"The queen of the night, undeniably Mathilde Froustey, is however not any longer in the stage of a young soloist making her debut. Her Lise is a whirlwind of good mood, spiced with a refined technique which lets her fly away in each variation."[13]

In the 2014 repertory season - her first repertory season with the San Francisco ballet - she performed the title role in Giselle a role she learned in ten days.[1] Mathilde Froustey considers Giselle as one of her favourite roles. Giselle with Mathilde Froustey[14] was in the programming of the 2015 repertory season as well.


Each time Mathilde Froustey goes on stage she feels joyful.[2]

“She lights up the stage,” says Tomasson, artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet. “What I love about her dancing is her joy. She feels music, and as an audience member, you connect with her. She’s made to be onstage. ... There is no question that she is excellent.[5]

With a talent that is undisputed, Mathilde Froustey has a commanding stage presence.[15]

"How can one overlook Mathilde Froustey, this charming and refined brunette, this stunning actress who dances like she breathes," writes Ariane Bavelier in Le Figaro.[16]



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Mathilde Froustey: from France to S.F. Ballet, with panache, article by Allan Ulrich, July 5, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle.
  2. ^ a b c Artist Spotlight Mathilde Froustey, 4:11 min, 4 July 2015
  3. ^ a b c d Mathilde Froustey Archived 2016-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, site of the San Francisco Ballet.
  4. ^ The time you need to be nominated principal dancer ("danseur étoile or rather danseuse étoile") of the Paris Opera Ballet is usually many years if not a decade.
  5. ^ a b Time to Shine, article by Laura Capelle, 28 March 2014, Pointe.
  6. ^ a b Interview with Mathilde Froustey, the new SFB Principal by Amélie Bertrand, 25 June 2013.
  7. ^ Sylvie Guillem leaving the Paris Opera Ballet in 1989 caused as scandal.
  8. ^ Mathilde Froustey, l'aventurière du Nouveau Monde, article by Philippe Noisette, 13 July 2014, Paris Match
  9. ^ Une étoile à San Francisco, article by Claire Talgorin, 3 July 2013.
  10. ^ SF Ballet Glides Gracefully Through a Demanding Don Quixote, review by Janice Berman, 23 March 2015, San Francisco Classical Voice.
  11. ^ 'Don Quixote’ review: S.F. Ballet tilts at dramatic windmills, review by Allan Ulrich, 23 March 2015, SFGATE.
  12. ^ ASHTON ROMANTIC COMEDY ENDS SEASON ON HIGH NOTE, dance review of La Fille Mal Gardée by Patricia Boccadoro, 28 July 2009, Culturekiosque.
  13. ^ La Fille mal gardée : épisode 3, review by Amélie Bertrand, 22 July 2012: "La reine de la soirée, incontestablement Mathilde Froustey, n'en est toutefois plus au stade de jeune soliste débutante. ... Sa Lise est un véritable tourbillon de bonne humeur, doublé d'une technique affûté qui l'a fait s'envoler à chaque variation."
  14. ^ The San Francisco Ballet presents each ballet with changing principal dancers in the leading role.
  15. ^ Mathilde Froustey nommée Principal Dancer au San Francisco Ballet, article by Amélie Bertrand, 21 June 2013.
  16. ^ Mathilde Froustey, l'étoile américaine, article by Ariane Bavelier, extract: "Comment ne pas remarquer cette brune piquante et délicate, comédienne en diable, qui danse comme elle respire?", 24 June 2013, Le Figaro.

External links[edit]