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Kader Belarbi



Etoile of the Paris Opera Ballet

 Former Director of the Ballet du Capitole





            Admitted to the Ballet School of the Paris National Opera in 1975, Kader Belarbi is engaged, five years later, in the Corps de Ballet. Named quadrille in 1981, then coryphée in 1984, sujet the following year, he climbed the steps with brio. In 1988, he received the price of the AROP (Association pour le Rayonnement de l'Opéra de Paris) and was promoted Premier Danseur. After the performance of The Sleeping Beauty (Rudolf Nureyev) where he played the role of the Blue Bird – 19 December 1989 - he was named Danseur étoile (Principal Dancer) and received the same year, the Nijinsky Award.


            He danced many ballets of the Paris National Opera's repertoire : Giselle; Swan Lake (Bourmeister); Romeo and Juliet, La Bayadère, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker, The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake of Rudolf Nureyev; Vaslaw, The Nutcracker, Magnificat, Sylvia, La Dame aux camélias of John Neumeier; The Three-Cornered Hat and La Symphonie fantastique of Leonide Massine; Fall River Legend of Agnes DeMille; The Afternoon of a Faun of Vaslav Nijinsky; Les Noces of Bronislava Nijinska; Napoli of August Bournonville; Chant des petits gosses, No Man's Land, Romeo and Juliet, The Four Last Songs of Rudi van Dantzig. 

He was also the performer of Jerome Robbins, who chose him for In the Night, Dances at a Gathering, Glass Pieces and The Four Seasons, and George Balanchine (Agon, Serenade, Crystal Palace, The Prodigal Son, The Four Temperaments, Violin Concerto, Symphony in Three Movements, Allegro Brillante, Jewels).

His register is vast. Playing preferably "bad guys" in Rudolf Nureyev's ballets (Tybalt, Rothbart, Abderam), he can also interpret the « wounded men » in those of Roland Petit (Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, Don José in Carmen, Le Loup, Frollo and Quasimodo in Notre-Dame de Paris, Le Rendez-vous, Camera obscura), the dark and romantic characters (the Poet in La Symphonie fantastique of Leonide Massine, Albrecht in the classical version of Giselle and in the one of Mats Ek), biblical figures (The Prodigal Son by George Balanchine), cynics (the Preacher in Speaking in Tongues of Paul Taylor, Lescaut in L'Histoire de Manon of Kenneth MacMillan) or charmers (Amour/Orion in Sylvia of John Neumeier). 

His career demonstrates an opening to all styles, from Serge Lifar (Suite en blanc, Les Mirages, Romeo and Juliet Pas de deux) to Carolyn Carlson (Signes).

He remains a familiar of contemporary dance and has performed in several works by Dominique Bagouet (Fantasia semplice), Maguy Marin (Leçons de Ténèbres, Ay dios), Daniel Larrieu (Attentat poétique), Odile Duboc (Rhapsody in Blue), Michel Kelemenis (Sélim, Reversibilité, Images), Jean Grand-Maître (Eja Mater). He has also performed the works of William Forsythe (In the Middle Somewhat Elevated, Pas./part), Jiří Kylián (Sinfonietta, Bella Figura), Maurice Béjart (Neuvième Symphonie, Le Concours, Arepo, Variations pour une porte et un soupir, Le Mandarin merveilleux and The Rite of Spring), Mats Ek (Giselle, Appartement et La Maison de Bernarda), Angelin Preljocaj (Un Trait d'union), Saburo Teshigawara (Air), Pina Bausch (Orphée et Eurydice).

His career led him to perform as a guest artist in many international companies. In 1995, he was the performer (actor and dancer) in Le Martyre de Saint-Sébastien, directed by Pier Luigi Pizzi at the Fenice in Venice. He did not hesitate to borrow the short cuts, surfing with Farid Berki's hip hop dancing in Pas de Vague avant l'éclipse, at the Avignon Festival.


            In 1987, Kader Belarbi began choreographying. Among his creations, Le Bol est rond (1989) and Salle des pas perdus (1997) are presented at the evenings of the Paris Opera's dancers-choreographers. Giselle et Willy (1991) is given at the Palais Garnier. Les Saltimbanques, ballet for twelve dancers inspired by the early works of Picasso, is created at the Orchard Hall in Tokyo, in August 1998, and shown in the Maison de la Danse in Lyon, in February 2000. 

As part of Carnets de bal, Bertrand d'At commissioned him a creation for the Ballet du Rhin : Liens de table, in June 2001. In February 2002, Kader Belarbi created his first major choreography for Paris Opera Ballet, Wuthering Heights, adapted from the novel of Emily Bronte. In January 2003, in collaboration with the baroque dance specialist Francine Lancelot, he created Bach Suite 2. He performed excerpts of this ballet during the tributes to Rudolf Nureyev and Claude Bessy and, in 2004, he danced it in full, first at the Palais Garnier, and then for the twenty years celebration of the Ensemble Baroque de Limoges. That same year, he created on the Elégie by Gabriel Fauré, Entre d'eux, for Marie-Agnès Gillot and Jiří Bubeníček (gala "Dance for Life" in Brussels) and Les Epousés at the Opera Bastille Amphitheatre, based on the letters from Vincent Van Gogh to his brother Theo, with the dancers Nicolas Leriche, Wilfried Romoli and the comedienne Norah Krief.

In 2005, the film director Nils Tavernier asked him to choreograph an oriental dance and to perform the role of Prince Abdallah Al Kassar in his film Aurore. Kader Belarbi then created La Bête et la Belle -on a soundtrack of György Ligeti- for the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal (October 2005). He conceived with Olivier Massart several events including a fashion show, staged and choreographed for the Asian Olympic Games in November 2006 in Doha (Qatar). He also designed the choreography of the opening ceremony of the Rugby World Cup in September 2007. During that year, he created Entrelacs for the National Ballet of China in Beijing and reinterpretated Le Mandarin merveilleux for the Grand Theatre of Geneva's Ballet.

In July 2008, he created Formeries at the Paris Opera, for a clown, musicians and dancers; Etranges Voisins in November 2009 for the Lyon Junior Ballet; Liens de table and A nos Amours for the Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, in February 2010. For two seasons (2009-2010 and 2010-2011), he is an associated artist at La Comète in Châlons-en-Champagne, where he created Room for six contemporary dancers.

He set up choreographic workshops for the cities of Châlons and Toulouse, Osons danser, opened to all.

In 2011, he created for the Italian television RAI, Come un sogno, a pas de deux for Benjamin Pech and Eleonora Abbagnato of the Paris Opera, then Pierrot lunaire and a full length ballet for the Ballet du Capitole, La Reine morte.

          Kader Belarbi was Director of the Ballet du Capitole from 2012 to 2023. Over these ten seasons, he has built up a new repertoire for the Ballet du Capitole, with 63 new “entrées au the repertoire“ including 36 revivals of ballets and 27 creations with the coming of 36 choreographers. Kader Belarbi let the dancers capture the diversity of dance styles, to feed their dance.


          As a choreographer, he has created numerous ballets for the Ballet du Capitole, including Links of table and Our to loves (2010), The Dead Queen (2011), Strange Neighbors (2012), Entrelacs, The Corsair, The Beast and the Beauty (2013), Bach-Suite III (2014), Giselle (2015), Hall of lost steps and Mur-Mur (2016), Don Quixote and Nutcracker (2017), The Saltimbanques and Toulouse-Lautrec (2021).


          A renowned dancer, dance director and choreographer, Kader Belarbi is remarkable for an inexhaustible curiosity and a renewed appetite for danced adventures.

           He has been awarded the Prix de l'Arop (1988), the Prix Nijinski (1989). In 2004, he received the artistic creation Award. He He is Officier des Arts et Lettres (2006), Officier de l'Ordre National du Mérite (2015), Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur (2008) and " Best choreographic Personality of the year 2017 " by the Professional Association of Critic Theater, Music and Dance.




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