Mathilde Froustey, a star dancer at the Bordeaux Opera, has announced that she will not be performing in the ballet « Giselle » out of respect for the audience. Despite high anticipation, Froustey, who arrived from the United States in May but sustained an injury in June, does not feel ready to dance the end-of-year ballet. Instead, she is set to make her debut at the Grand-Théâtre in March in a neoclassical and contemporary program. Froustey explains, « If we were in the United States, following the ‘the show must go on’ logic, I would dance ‘Giselle’. However, in France, we understand that it is not always necessary to do more. So, I prefer to give up on this ballet that I particularly love. It is a matter of respect for my body, which is not yet at 100%, and for the audience. »

Froustey, who was nominated as a star dancer in May but injured her knee in June, will not make her debut on the stage of the Grand-Théâtre in December, as had been hoped. She made the announcement in a message posted on the Opéra de Bordeaux’s Facebook account. « My knee is progressing very well, » Froustey says. « I am taking class (the daily class that allows dancers to go back to the fundamentals of classical dance), I am jumping, I am on pointe, but I am still hindered by a screw that was originally placed to reattach my tendons. They are the same screws that are used on rugby players weighing 120 kilos, while I only weigh 45 kilos! »

The operation is scheduled for December 19th, which is too late to coincide with the ballet’s schedule. There is great anticipation for Froustey’s debut since the departure of Sara Renda, the last star dancer at the Opéra, in 2022. Froustey explains, « I have a lot of rehabilitation and strength training to do in order to resume rehearsals at the end of January or beginning of February, in preparation for the neoclassical and contemporary program ‘Golden hour’ in March. I have already danced a piece by choreographer Christopher Wheeldon when I was a star dancer in San Francisco. We’ll see about the rest. »

This is a buildup to the ballet’s tour in China in April-May, followed by « Notre-Dame de Paris » at the Grand-Théâtre in July. In the meantime, Froustey is reading books such as « La familia grande » by Camille Kouchner, « Les Naufragés du Wager, » and the comic book « Histoire de Jérusalem. » She is also watching films and visiting exhibitions. Froustey believes that to be a good dancer, she needs to nourish herself with subjects other than dance. She says, « A dancer who is ignorant is immediately apparent on stage. »

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