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Marie-Claude Pietragalla to head Ballet de Marseilles

by Patricia Boccadoro

PARIS, 14 May 1998 - Marie-Claude Pietragalla, étoile(1990) of the Paris Opéra Ballet, was officially nominated artistic director of the Ballet de Marseilles last month.

Sources close to Roland Petit, head of the troupe for thirty years speak of the French choreographer's upset at the appointment of a person whose claim to fame rests rather on a perfume advertisement than on any experience in running a large dance company.

I asked Didier Deschamps, délegué de la Danse at the Culture Ministry whether Ms Pietragalla had previously worked or taught at a school- the Marseilles institution is the largest in France, but she had not. She is, however familiar with Petit's repertoire.

Let us hope this heritage remains with the dancers. A press conference will be held this month.

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