Sylvie Guillem
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Sylvie Guillem was born on the 25th  February 1965 in Paris, France As a child, she trained in gymnastics at age 11, she begin training at the Paris Opera Ballet School where Claude Bessy, then director of the school, immediately noticed her exceptional capacities and potential. In 1981 at age 16, she joined the company’s corps de ballet.In 1983 Guillem won the gold medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition, which later in the year earned her her first solo role, dancing the Queen of the Driads in Rudolf Nureyev’s staging of Don Quixote. In December 1984, after her performance in Nureyev’s Swan Lake, she became the Paris Opera Ballet’s youngest-ever étoile, the company’s top-ranking female dancer. In 1987 she performed the lead role in William Forsythe’s contemporary ballet In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated. In 1988 she was given the title role in a production of Giselle staged by the Royal Ballet to celebrate Nureyev’s 50th birthday. Her performance was a success, and in the following year she left Paris for London, to become a freelance performer and one of the Royal Ballet’s principal guest artists. Her desire to work independently from a company gained her the nickname Mademoiselle Non.Extremely flexible, Guillem became controversial for her high extensions, which some detractors said ruined the line of classical ballet. They called it “ear whacking.” However, many dancers have since become if anything even more flexible than Guillem. And Guillem’s style allowed her to dance both the classical roles and more contemporary works with equal success.In 1995 Guillem created the dance television program, Evidentia, which won several international awards. In 2001 she became the first winner of the Nijinsky Prize for the world’s best ballerina, although in her acceptance speech she criticised the “supermarket culture” of such awards. In the same year, she controversially appeared nude and without make-up in a photo-shoot for French Vogue. By 2006 she had moved from ballet to contemporary dance, working with such performers as Akram Khan and Russell Maliphant.


Sylvie Guillem- Smoke