Hugo Marchand was appointed Étoile of Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris after its performance of La Sylphide in Tokyo, at Tokyo Bunka Kaikan, on Friday, 3 March 2017. He, Premier danseur then, had danced as James, the leading role.
During the enthusiastic curtain call, Aurélie Dupont, Directrice de la Dance, suddenly appeared on the stage and announced his appointment. The entire hall got filled with a great joy and excitement, and the whole audience gave an unceasing standing ovation to celebrate such an honorable event.
Marchand danced as James for the first time. In the press conference in Tokyo on Monday, 27 February, held on the occasion of the opening of the Company's Japan tour, he had also expressed his joy of performing a leading role for the first time in his career outside of France.
It has become a custom of the Company to announce promotions to Étoile after performances, but it is quite rare to be done overseas. It was the first time and definitely a historic moment for the Japanese dance scene to experience such a triumphant event.