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Thanks to Louis XIV’s love of dance, French is the language of ballet and Paris has remained the center of the art for more than 300 years since the Sun King’s splendiferous 72-year reign ended with his death in 1715.

Yet for a company so richly steeped in history, the Paris Opera Ballet has gained a 21st-century reputation for fostering the best in modern dance. Some of the credit for this certainly goes to its Director of Dance Brigitte Lefèvre, who is retiring this year after nearly two decades leading the company.

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