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Marc Haegeman
Classical Net, May 2017

Aurélie Dupont danced Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet L’Histoire de Manon for her final show. What better farewell is there than to appear one last time in an emotionally-charged role like Manon, offering passionate pas de deux and guaranteed to knock out the audience with an utterly poignant death of the heroine in the final scene? While created for London’s Royal Ballet in 1974 the French have made the ballet their own, providing an alternative approach to this eternal crowd-pleaser.

For the occasion Dupont was joined by Italian star Roberto Bolle as Des Grieux. The natural elegance and sophisticated manner of both dancers upgrades the ill-fated characters in MacMillan’s graphic interpretation of Abbé Prévost’s novel considerably, especially in the last Act where they are somewhat less convincing. But overall this is a magnificent performance with a ballerina at the height of her art. Paris étoiles Stéphane Bullion, Alice Renavand, Benjamin Pech and Karl Paquette form a first-class supporting cast. Excellent support also from the Orchestra of the Paris Opera, conducted by Martin Yates who successfully gave the Massenet compilation score a new sound and life in 2011. © 2017 Classical Net Read complete review

Bill White
Fanfare, May 2017

Dancing, as designed by choreographer MacMillan is sumptuous, allowing plenty of opportunity for the leads (Manon, Des Grieux, Lescaut, Lescaut’s mistress, and Monsieur G. M.) to dance in solo numbers as well as in passionate love duets. Many of the duets and ensemble dances employ difficult-looking lifts and acrobatic moves, impressive at least to one of my relative inexperience.

…performed with great style and artistry, led by one of the recently great ballerinas. It is a good place for a ballet beginner like myself to begin. © 2017 Fanfare Read complete review

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