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Mathilde Froustey

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Name  Mathilde Froustey

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Mathilde Froustey (born June 8, 1985 in Bordeaux, France) is a French ballet dancer.
She is a principal dancer of San Francisco Ballet. Mathilde Froustey was a "Sujet", soloist of the Paris Opera Ballet until 2013.


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Artist spotlight mathilde froustey

Early life

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Mathilde Froustey started dancing in Dax in the south of France in 1994 at the age of 9, because ballet training was helpful for her back problems.

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In 1998, Mathilde Froustey trained at the Marseille National School of Ballet.

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Colette Armand, her ballet teacher in Marseille, recommended she audition for the prestigious Paris Opera Ballet School .

Paris Opera Ballet

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Mathilde Froustey started at Paris Opera Ballet School in 1999 and joined Paris Opera Ballet in 2002. She was promoted to the rank of "Coryphée" in 2003.

In 2004, she won the gold medal at the Varna International Ballet Competition with Josua Hoffalt.

In 2005, Froustey was promoted to "Sujet", soloist.

She was one of the founding members of 3e étage, an independent group of Paris Opera Ballet dancers directed by Samuel Murez.

She toured in Japan with Manuel Legris as a member of his group Manuel Legris & Friends. Manuel Legris at the time principal dancer ("danseur étoile") of the Paris Opera Ballet inspired many young gifted dansers several of which became "danseurs étoiles" themselves some time later.

Becoming a principal dancer

Although Mathilde Froustey appeared on stage in leading roles with the Paris Opera Ballet as of 2006, particularly as Kitri in Don Quixote, she was not promoted to "Première Danseuse", first soloist, with this company.

Not even the artistic director, Brigitte Lefèvre, could explain why the jury consistently didn’t vote for her. Some ventured that her style was too extroverted and virtuosic for Paris, where restraint and purity are valued.

During her career Mathilde Froustey met artistic directors of prestigious ballet companies on several occasions when the directors were in the audience of ballet performances. She was on particularly good terms with Helgi Tómasson and Manuel Legris who both appreciated her as a soloist.

After he had seen her dancing as Lise in La Fille mal gardée in Paris in July 2012, Manuel Legris offered her to join the Vienna State Ballet as principal dancer telling her at the same time to stay the Paris Opera Ballet a little bit more. Mathilde Froustey didn't wait too long.

She was the first top-notch dancer leaving the Paris Opera Ballet for years

San Francisco Ballet

In January 2013 Mathilde Froustey accepted an offer from Helgi Tómasson, to become a principal dancer with the San Francisco Ballet.

Mathilde Froustey and Helgi Tómasson met each other already in 2006 at a competition in Paris through José Martinez, danseur étoile of the Paris Opera Ballet.

When she made a long-distance call inquiring about a job here, a contract arrived in the mail a week later. This was the first time that a principal dancer entered the San Francisco Ballet bypassing the audition process.

On Stage

Kitri in Don Quixote is Mathilde Froustey's dream role.

She is highly appreciated for her interpretation of Lise in La Fille Mal Gardée.

"Froustey was the Lise that dreams are made of."

"The queen of the night, undeniably Mathilde Froustey, is however not any longer in the stage of a young soloist making her debut. Her Lise is a whirlwind of good mood, spiced with a refined technique which lets her fly away in each variation."

In the 2014 repertory season - her first repertory season season with the San Francisco ballet - she performed the title role in Giselle a role she learned in ten days. Mathilde Froustey considers Giselle as one of her favourite roles. Giselle with Mathilde Froustey was in the programming of the 2015 repertory season as well.


Each time Mathilde Froustey goes on stage she feels joyful.

“She lights up the stage,” says Tomasson, artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet. “What I love about her dancing is her joy. She feels music, and as an audience member, you connect with her. She’s made to be onstage. ... There is no question that she is excellent.”

With a talent that is undisputed, Mathilde Froustey has a commanding stage presence.

"How can one overlook Mathilde Froustey, this charming and refined brunette, this stunning actress who dances like she breathes," writes Ariane Bavelier in Le Figaro.


  • 2004: Varna International Ballet Competition, gold medal with Josua Hoffalt
  • 2007: Ballet2000 dance prize
  • 2013: Danza & Danza’s best foreign dancer award
  • 2015: Isadora Duncan Dance Award for her performances of Giselle with Tiit Helimets
  • References

    Mathilde Froustey Wikipedia

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