Manuel Legris; Foto: Wiener Staatsoper/Michael Pöhn

La Scala’s new Ballet Director: Manuela Legris

Only few days ago, Manuel Legris, Ballet Director of the Vienner Staatsballett announced on his facebook site, he will take the direction of La Scala Ballet in Milan. He will start officially next December.  Legris know the company well, having worked with them on Le Corsaire Production 2018 and his version of the ballet Sylvia in December 2019.

“A page turns but will remain engraved forever, Vienna was an exceptional adventure and I will miss so many people. Now a new experience presents itself. It is with extreme happiness that I will be able to continue working in a wonderful theater and with an exceptional company. I will put all my strenght into continuing the wonderful work of Frédéric Olivieri and will have the chance to continue my collaboration with Dominique Meyer.”

Manuel Legris was born in Paris and trained at the ballet school of the Paris Opéra. He joined the Paris Opéra Ballet in 1980. In 1986 he was appointed Danseur Étoile by then ballet director of the Paris Opéra, Rudolf Nureyev. 2009 he gave his farewell performance at the Paris Opéra and since Autumn 2010 Manuel Legris has been Director of the Wiener Staatsballett and Artistic Director of the Ballet Academy of the Vienna State Opera. His repertoire at the Paris Opéra Ballet included the lead roles in works by Frederick Ashton, George Balanchine, Patrice Bart, Maurice Béjart, Trisha Brown, August Bournonville, Vladimir Burmeister, John Cranko, Nacho Duato, Mats Ek, Mikhail Fokin, William Forsythe, Jiří Kylián, Pierre Lacotte, Harald Lander, Serge Lifar, Kenneth MacMillan, John Neumeier, Rudolf Nureyev, Roland Petit, Angelin Preljocaj, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp, Antony Tudor, and Rudi van Dantzig. In his first season as Director of the Wiener Staatsballett, Manuel Legris presented eight premieres, staging himself Rudolf Nureyev’s version of Don Quixote. Together with Elisabeth Plated he staged Pierre Lacotte’s La Sylphide, in the season 2012/2013 he produced Rudolf Nureyev’s The Nutcracker and in the 2013/2014 season Swan Lake. At the multi-part evening Junge Talente des Wiener Staatsballetts at the Volksoper Wien his choreography Donizetti Pas de deux was presented. 2016 he presented his very first full-lenght story ballet: his version of Le Corsaire at Wiener Staatsoper.

Prizes and Honours: 1st prize in the ballet competition in Osaka (1984), Prix Nijinsky (1988), Prix Benois de la Danse (1998) Nijinski Award (“Best Dancer in the World, 2000”), Prix Positano (2001); Chevalier des Arts et Lettres (1993), Officier des Arts et Lettres (1998), Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite (2002), Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur (2006), Commandeur des Arts et Lettres (2009).  2016 he won the People’s Choice Award for his gala performance as Ulrich in Roland Petits Die Fledermaus at the XV. DANCE OPEN International Ballet Festival at the Alexandrinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg.