Ballet Beautiful

“Afterwards Isabelle often wondered if the moments themselves were greater or the memory of them. At least the memory did not pass, while the moments passed all too fast. Life whizzed by; she no longer had time to recollect it. Her notebooks to this day retain the story of her desperate attempt to hold together her self, her mind, her reason, her order, her morals.” 

― Toni Bentley,

Alice Renavand – In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated.
© Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris
Maria Alexandrova.
Maurice Béjart donnant un cours à l’Opéra de Paris
Evgenia Obraztsova as Odette in Bolshoi’s Swan Lake

La Cigarette, Suite en Blanc
Agnes Letestu 
Choreography: Serge Lifar

Agnès Letestu (born 1 February 1971) is a French ballet dancer.

Agnès Letestu © photo Jacques Moatti

She decided to start ballet when she saw her first ballet on TV (Swan Lake). Then she had the opportunity to start ballet as a hobby, and her teacher, Mr. Bertin, persuaded her to audition for the Opéra Ballet School which she joined when she was 10. She was a shy but graceful pupil and was destined to be at the top of the company. 

Agnes Letestu at 13

"Swan Lac" Agnès Letestu and José Martinez © Photo Jacques Moatti

Agnes entered the Paris Opera Ballet company in 1987 at the age of 16, became Coryphée in 1988, Sujet in 1989 and première danseuse in 1993. She demonstrated her talents to this major ballet company and was named étoile after a performance of Swan Lake in October 1997. 

Agnès Letestu and Hervé Moreau in Woundwork 1.
© Anne Deniau / Opéra national de Paris.

As of 2009, Agnes Letestu was nearly at the end of her ballerina career (she was then 38) but she hopes to continue to live her passion for ballet through teaching to the youngest. In October, 2013, she appeared in 'La Dame aux Camelias' at The Paris Opera Ballet in her farewell performance for the company, portraying Marguerite Gautier to great acclaim.

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