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Élisabeth Platel

Élisabeth Platel is a French ballerina, born in Paris on 10 April 1959. After studying at the conservatoire in Saint-Germain-en-Laye, she entered the Conservatoire de Paris in 1971, graduating with First Prize, which allowed her to complete her studies at the École de Danse de l'Opéra National de Paris. Influential teachers of Platel were Pierre Lacotte, who worked with her in the Paris Opera School and Raymond Franchetti, who owned a studio where the budding dancer was able to watch professional artists taking class, among others soloists from the Paris Opera like Noëlla Pontois, or guest stars like Rudolf Nureyev. Élisabeth entered the corps de ballet of the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1976 as a quadrille at the age of 17. She advanced quickly to successive ranks of the company's hierarchy. The following year she was promoted to coryphée. In 1978 she became sujet and danced her first soloist roles in ballets by George Balanchine, Divertimento No. 15 and The Four Temperaments. In 1979, at nineteen, she was appointed première danseuse. In 1981 Platel started to prepare her first great classical ballet, La Sylphide with Pierre Lacotte, her former teacher.

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