Dark beauty, chiseled muscles, Hugo Marchand appears on the cover of his autobiographical work, as, for several years now, on the stage of the Paris Opera. The embodiment of a subtle blend of panache and sensitivity, for four years he has belonged to the very closed circle of stars of the prestigious Parisian institution.
With this book, simply titled Dance, written with the help of journalist Caroline de Bodinat, it invites you to cross the mirror, beyond the perfection of glossy paper and the ephemeral brilliance of the scene. His testimony, at the age of 27, in what he reveals to the public, is captivating.
In the secret of the studios
The book opens and closes with the same flashback: Hugo is 9 years old and has just entered the Nantes Conservatory with his secret hope in sight: to become a principal dancer. A “Childhood dream” which he will get at the cost of hard work.
Under the nave of the Grand Palais, a Ronde with sublime echoes
His confidences, delivered with touching simplicity, draw the reader as close as possible to the doubts and anxieties that have accompanied him since childhood. He tells about the pressure of the competitions – the entrance to the Paris Opera, the Varna competition -, the rivalries – including that which opposes him to his friend Germain Louvet who, always, slightly ahead of him -, the magic of the spectacle and the loneliness of the artist at the fall of the curtain.
→ PORTRAIT. The principal dancer Patrick Dupond is dead
Hugo Marchand’s personal story is also a wonderful dive into the secrets of the Palais Garnier studios: how, for example, to form stage couples? The chemistry between the partners is not obvious. Behind the scenes, to make possible the blossoming of grace in the spotlight, the profession is sharpening.
Sometimes subjected to a severe test, like this fracture of the right fifth metatarsus, the dancer is entirely dedicated to the making of dreams. When will he find his audience? In the middle of the wait, his words distill the hope of seeing this beautiful star shine for many more years.