Jury member of Benois de la Danse

Benois de la Danse laureate

Benois de la Danse nominee

Born in Paris, Agnes Letestu entered the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1983.

In 1987 she joined Paris Opera Ballet directed by Rudolph Nureyev as “Quadrille”. In 1988 she was promoted to “Coryphee”. In 1989 she was promoted to “Sujet”. Also she won the gold medal at the Eurovision Competition for young dancers. In 1990 she won the gold medal at the international Varna competition.

While still a member of the “corps de ballet”, she was singled out by notable choreographers to interpret leading roles: Jerome Robbinsfor Glass Pieces and Dances at the gathering, William Forsythe for In the middle, somewhat elevated, Roland Petit for Le Jeune Homme et la Mort and Rudolph Nureyev for Gamzatti in La Bayadere.

In 1993 she was promoted to “Premiere Danseuse” and in 1997 she was named “Danseuse Etoile”. She has lent her talents of interpretation to the Nureyev versions of the great classics: Swan lake, Sleeping Beauty, Raymonda, Don Quixote, La Bayadere, Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet. Her physique and style are also ideally adapted to works by George Balanchine: Serenade, Palais de Cristal, Agon, Capriccio, Violin Concerto, Apollo, Theme and Variations, Sylvia Pas de Deux, Jewels, Prodigal Son, Sympony in C, Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux.

Her classical repertory also includes: Giselle (Perrot & Coralli), Paquita, La Sylphide (Lacotte), Etudes (Lander), Grandpas Classique (Gsovsky), Suite en Blanc and Les Mirages (S. Lifar). She has interpreted many important contemporary choreographies such as: I'Arlesienne (Roland Petit), Rites of Spring (in the Vaslav Nijinski and Massine versions), Sinfonietta (Jiri Kylian), Magnificat, Vaslaw, The Lady of the Camellias (John Neumeier), Myrta/Bathilde in Mats Ek's Giselle, Les Variations d'Ulysse (J. C Gallota), Temptations of the Moon (Martha Graham), Woundwork 1 (Forsythe), Non, Rien de Rien (Ivan Favier). She has received the following awards: CARPEAUX prize (1991), 1992 AROP prize (1992), 1998 Danza & Danza prize (1998, with Jose Martinez for “Best couple of the year”), Positano Leonide Massine Dance Prize (2004), Chevalier de L'Orde des Arts et Lettres & Chevalier de L'Orde National du Merite. As a guest artist: she has danced Giselle with the ballet national deCuba, Romeo and Juliet with Dutch National Ballet, Beau Danube, Rites of Spring (Leonide Massine) and Raymonda with the Nice Opera Ballet, Swan Lake and Prodigal Son with the Ballet of Teatro Communaledi Firenze, Paquita and Swan Lake with the Tokyo Ballet, Nutcraker(By Derek Deane) with the English National Ballet, Paquita, Raymonda, Swan Lake, and Etudes with the Mariinsky Theatre, and Etudes with the Royal Danish Ballet, as well as Adagietto by John Neumeier at the Hamburg Ballet.

She has been filmed in Paquita, Swan Lake, Prodigal Son, and Diamonds from Jewels. These recordings have been shown on television, and are published (Swan Lake coming soon) on DVD. 

She conceived the costumes for Mi Favorita, Delibes Suite, Scaramouche, and Parenthese 7, by Jose Martinez, and Quatre by Samuel Murez.