William Forsythe, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated
Cast of 1987: Isabelle Guerin and Laurent Hilaire, Sylvie Guillem, Marie-Claude Pietragalla and Manuel Legris
Cast of 2012: Alice Renavand and Vincent Chaillet, Aurélia Bellet, Amandine Albisson
ph. Icare (?), Jacques Moatti and Anne Deniau
"Vital to all these works is Mr. Forsythe’s canny understanding of the culture of the Paris Opera Ballet, with its formal hierarchies of grades and its deeply rooted competitiveness, which begins at the Paris Opera Ballet School, where students are ranked from top to bottom each year.
This ranking continues through their professional life — once in the company, promotion can be achieved only through an annual competition. “In the Middle” perfectly captures the intimate, prickly, ambiguous relationships of dancers who grow up together but must never forget that their friends are also their rivals.
When “In the Middle” is performed by other companies, this wary surveillance, the bravado that masks fear, is often enacted as a vaguely sulky aggressiveness. But when the curtain went up on Dec. 8 and 9 at the Palais Garnier, and Alice Renavand and Aurélia Bellet eyed each other warily, it was immediately clear what was at stake: center stage.” [source]