Side-note, I return to classes this week. My last undergrad year, my true senior year. I will try my best to post more than 2 times a week.
I heard a shot in the darkness of the dance world on tumblr two days ago. I’ve been hunting for more info and some story on the issue, and finally today, I can confirm that Sylvie Guillem has announced her retirement from the stage next year. I don’t know why it took me so long to confirm this. Maybe because deep down I selfishly don’t want Guillem to ever stop dancing and performing. But alas, here it is. And fondly, we will say a farewell to one of the most historic female dancers of the century.
Sylvie Guillem has announced that she will retire at the end of 2015. The French ballerina made the announcement through the Japan Performing Arts Foundation, adding that her farewell performance is scheduled to take place in Japan.
“I will stop dancing in the end of 2015,” she said in a statement, adding, “This is all I can tell you now.” Now 49, Guillem is one of the world’s most famous dancers. She joined the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1981, where she was singled out by director Rudolf Nureyev, who promoted her to the top rank of étoile faster than any previous dancer. In 1987, she starred in William Forsythe’s In the middle, somewhat elevated.
Guillem left the Paris Opéra in 1989, becoming principal guest artist at The Royal Ballet. An intelligent and highly independent dancer, she chose her own roles and her own costumes, gaining the nickname “Mademoiselle Non”. More recently, she moved from ballet to contemporary dance, creating works with Russell Maliphant, Akram Khan and others. She is an associate artist of Sadler’s Wells.
Guillem feels a particular connection with Japan. Her 2011 show 6000 Miles Away was named for the country, with charity performances to support the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the country. In November, she will dance a revival of Sacred Monsters, her show with Akram Khan, at Sadler’s Wells.
In respect of this truly inspiring and vital dancer, I want to post a five part musing on her life, her famous roles, and her method to the madness that is ballet.This series will be spaced out and posts about her specifically will span from now until her last showing in 2015.
I am so very saddened to know that I could have seen her as she was and is still alive, but I was never really privileged enough financially to get to view any of her performances in NYC or CA. Now with her last performance in Japan (one of my top favorite countries to visit), I am more than unavailable to be a part of her living history. But I am so pleased to be able to look back at her life and contribute a written love-letter to the incomparable Sylvie Guillem.