A star goes out.
The former Paris Opera principal dancer and dance star Patrick Dupond died on Friday at the age of 61 from a ” devastating illness “, his entourage told AFP. ” Patrick Dupond flew away this morning to dance with the stars, ” said his collaborator Leïla Da Rocha, with whom he had shared his life for more than sixteen years.
Born in Paris on March 14, 1959, Patrick Dupond was one of the greatest stars of the Paris Opera and of dance in general in France, known to the general public beyond the circle of ballet lovers.
Crowned at the age of 21, the star of the Opera, of which he was for a long time the darling, the dancer, Grand Prix national de la danse (1982), he was appointed artistic director of the French Ballet of Nancy in 1988. Pierre Bergé appointed him , at the age of 31, director of the ballet of the Opéra national de Paris, a position he held from 1990 to 1995.
He had to leave ” home ” under difficult circumstances. Dismissed in 1997 ” for his insubordination and his indiscipline “, he was finally compensated in cassation.
His acting qualities appeal to the greatest choreographers – Alvin Ailey, Roland Petit, Maurice Béjart, Jérôme Robbins, Rudolf Nureyev … -, who create for him. In 2000, he was the victim of a serious car accident. His body is broken by 134 fractures and the doctors tell him that he will no longer dance.
After having dabbled in cinema ( Dancing Machine with Alain Delon in 1990), danced with the horses of the Cadre Noir, he dabbled in reality TV and notably became a juror for several broadcasts, in particular “Dance with the stars” on TF1 in 2018. Commander of Arts and Letters, Chevalier in the National Order of Merit and Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honor, he had written an account of his life and revealed all his memories in Etoile, published by Fayard in 2000, then in Livre de poche. He also prefaced Echappés in the streets , immersed behind the scenes of the City ballet of San Diego, with texts by Valérie Fourrier-Malavergne and photos by Ursula Bensimon (Ch. Rolland éditions, 2016). The two biographies published in the 1990s which were devoted to him are no longer available.