No One Puts Bébé In The Corner

by Sid Feddema

A cyclist who has ridden around the globe several times once told me that the hardest part of each journey was getting out of the driveway. Marie-Agnès Gillot might agree. After defeating a double scoliosis diagnosis by dancing in a back brace, Gillot clawed her way through the ranks of the Paris Opéra Ballet to become the principal dancer.

Born in the Northwest of France, Gillot took her first lesson at five. By the time she was nine she had moved to the city to enter Paris Opéra Ballet School. Training hard, she entered the Opéra as a dancer when she was 15, and was promoted to “sujet,” or soloist when she was 19. It was another five years until she was granted the title of “Premiere Danseuse” despite having danced all the primary parts for four years. Achieving the highest ranks as a dancer at the Opéra, Gillot then moved to choreography, becoming the first female in-house choreographer to receive a commission there.

Evident throughtout Gillot’s career is unstoppable ambition, energy, and creative omnivorism, as is visible in her recent work as a fashion model, fronting campaigns like Céline’s Spring/Summer 2015 campaign photographed by Juergen Teller. Once Gillot gets started, she’s unstoppable.


Written by Amy Marie Slocum  
Photographed by Fe Pinheiro  
Styled by Sonia Bedere


Issue 154
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The Cadence Issue

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