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Interview of Amandine Albisson

She is… Amandine Albisson, an Etoile at the Paris Opera ballet since March 5, 2014.
She tells us that as far as she can remember in her childhood, she wanted to be a dancer. At 6, in front the Paris Opera, she told her mother “this is where I’ll dance.” Aged 9, she was already in sport-study boarding school and at 17, she entered the Paris Opera after passing the entrance exam. “My path has been quite classical, but I just had it in me,” she says simply, almost as if she didn’t realize how spot-on her initial intuition was, or how extraordinary that path actually is.
We can’t wait to see her in In The Night and The Vertiginous Thrill of Exactitude.
 
The biggest or most important fight you had in your life?
The dance of the Bolero of Béjart is a bewitching solo in which we are surrounded with dancers that join us one after the other. It’s part of the top three pieces – along with La Dame aux Camélias and L'Histoire de Manon– known for being an exhausting dance that brings a performer to the brink of exhaustion. Living this experience was an exceptional opportunity but I had gotten injured 6 weeks before. But it’s something you can’t pass on, so I fought more than ever, physically and mentally. I remember a moment of incredible emotional intensity. This choreography is so difficult by the effort it requires that we rarely go through entirely solo rehearsals. During performances, you’re buoyed by the energy of the other dancers around us that help us see this through to the very end.
 
Aren’t we all a mix of shadows and lights? What are yours?
My dark side is my perfectionism, which is a terrible flaw. I have this kind of obsession in work and its organization. But I’m equally convinced that this is exactly what gives me room to express myself and enjoy it truly. I put up these immense obstacles, but I think it’s for the pleasure of overcoming them. My light side is certainly my instinct, which I have chosen to trust.
 
The moment you reveal your strength the more vividly? 
When it's time to go on stage. There is this decisive step, this tipping point between backstage and stage, a few centimeters that bring us from darkness to a light that will reveal us to the public, qualities and shortcomings on display. It's a simple step forward that feels like a leap of faith.
 
Everyone has a conviction, a statement guiding our path, what is yours?
I have one that counts even more in these troubled times, where we are no longer masters of our daily lives: "Make your life a dream and bring your dreams to life." We only have one life and it passes so quickly that we have to enjoy it. We have to continue dreaming and making them come true.
 
Mind Upload is the beginning of our heroine’s story. If you could augment yourself, what personal abilities would you expand?
I would love to be able to speak all languages. Some of my travels have created this immense frustration of not being able to ask all the questions I had, not being able to interact with people and share our points of view. As a second choice, since I have jumped with a parachute before, I would quite like to be able to fly without needing any accessories! 

Exhale... you are in a safe space: Alyh created a world between solar punk and brutalism, but what do you see in yours?
Whatever the context, what matters is those around me. I need my family and friends, and if I have to choose a decor, I would bring together mountains and the sea to enjoy those with them.
 
Never give up: What would you say to your best friend or child?
Don't ever give up being honest, especially to yourself. It's important to be able to question yourself. And don't ever give up your curiosity, your ability to create new dreams, that drive to want and then to do.  
 
The best… What makes you proudest?
As a child, we came to Paris with my mother so I could attend a dance course. I was just 6 but I told my mother "I'll dance here one day." I made it, I achieved my childhood dream. Now that I'm a woman and because it's rather recent, I'm really proud of having married the man I love last summer. It's quite the performance these days. Once again, you really have to believe and never give up.

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