It is with great sadness that we note the death, earlier this month, of Éric Vu-An, Artistic Director of Nice Méditerranée Ballet.

Éric Vu-An, of Vietnamese origin, was born in Paris in 1964 and at the age of 10, joined the Paris Opéra Ballet School. He became a member of the Paris Opéra corps de ballet in 1979, and was promoted to the rank of soloist in 1987.

During his career at the Palais Garnier, Éric Vu-An appeared in ballets such as Don Quixote, Romeo and Juliet, Swan Lake, The Rite of Spring, Boléro, Arépo, Le Jeune Homme et la Mort, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ruby and The Afternoon of a Faun, working with choreographers like Rudolf Nureyev, George Balanchine, Roland Petit, William Forsythe and Maurice Béjart.

In 1995 he became Artistic Director of the Bordeaux Grand Théâtre Ballet, followed by the position as guest professor at the Paris Opera School of Dance. As Director of the Avignon Opera Ballet, he created works such as (Ivresse(s) de Dionysos, Faust’s Walpurgis Night and Coppélia. As associate Master of Ballet for the Marseille National Ballet from 2005, he created Le Petit Prince, adapted Swan Lake (Act I) and performed with the company in works such as The Afternoon of a Faun, La Pavane du Maure and Swan Lake.

When Éric Vu-An took over the artistic direction of the Nice Opera ballet in 2009, he aimed to raise the level of excellence, first renaming it the Nice Méditerranée Ballet. He successfully revisited great classics of dance, such as Cantate 51, Marco Polo, Don Quixote, Coppélia and Raymonda. He enriched the repertoire with new creations by talented choreographers – Lucinda Childs, Dwight Rhoden, Luciano Cannito and Julien Guérin – and returned to the stage himself in several ballets – Marco Polo, Cassandra, Le Rendez-vous, Don Quixote and Eden, for example. He has also developed the Company’s presence both nationally and internationally, with numerous performances in France, Europe, Asia and America.

Éric Vu-An was recognised as an Officer of the National Order of Merit, Commander in the Order of Arts and Letters and Officer of the Legion of Honour.

The Paris Opéra says of Éric Vu-An that he will always be remembered for his “… immense talent and grace, his elegance, the power, precision and delicacy of his art, which have made him one of the most emblematic dancers of his generation”.

another grey line

Lead image by Dominique Jaussein, courtesy Opéra de Nice Côte d’Azur

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