Charles Jude

A former Etoile of the Opéra de Paris and Director of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Bordeaux. After studying at the Conservatoire de Nice under Alexandre Kalioujny, Charles Jude successfully auditioned to join the ballet company of the Opéra de Paris (1971).

Promoted to the rank of premier danseur in 1975, he won the Bronze Medal at the Tokyo International Ballet Competition with Florence Clerc. On 8th July 1977 he was named Principal Dancer after his magnificent turn in Ivan the Terrible (Yury Grigorovich).

His dancing successfully combines a feline fluidity (L’Après midi d’un faune, V. Nijinski) with all the elegance of the classical style (Etudes, H.Lander), making him uniquely suited to princely roles. Between 1978 and 1996 he danced many of the great classical roles (Giselle, and Rudolf Nureyev’s versions of The Nutcracker, Swan Lake, Raymonda, Romeo and Juliet, La Belle au Bois Dormant, Cinderella, La Bayadère, Don Quixote), and some of the emblematic works of the Ballets Russes (Le Spectre de la Rose, L’Après-midi d’un faune, Petrushka et al.).

Noteworthy collaborators have included Marcia Haydée, Claire Motte, Gislaine Thesmar, Noëlla Pontois, Florence Clerc, Elisabeth Platel, Monique Loudières, Sylvie Guillem, Carolyn Carlson, Cynthia Gregory, Natalyia Makarova, Isabelle Guérin, Carla Fracci, Alessandra Ferri, Elisabetta Terabust, Maïa Plissetskaïa and more.

He has also tackled the repertoire of the greatest neoclassical and contemporary choreographers, including George Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, Anthony Tudor, John Cranko, Maurice Béjart, Paul Taylor, Merce Cunningham, John Neumeier, Jirí Kylián, Glen Tetley, Michaël Clark, Carolyn Carlson, Louis Falco, Jose Limon and John Buttler.

A committed disciple of Rudolf Nureyev, it was from the master himself that Charles Jude learned his trade, both as dancer and choreographer. Between 1980 and 1992 he was a regular feature in the ‘Nureyev and Friends’ tours, while also appearing as a guest principal with the Royal Ballet in London, the Vienna State Ballet, the Ballet of the Teatro della Scala and the Royal Danish Ballet, in addition to performances in Rome, Naples, Berlin, Stockholm, New York (the Met) and elsewhere. A teacher at the CNSM in Paris, he also taught alongside Marika Besobrasova at the Académie de Danse de Monaco.

Since his appointment as Director of the Ballet de l’Opéra de Bordeaux in 1996, Charles Jude has continued to dance (L’Après-midi d’un faune, Petrushka, Suite en Blanc, The Four Temperaments, Serenade, The Prodigal Son, Icarus, Aureole, La Pavane du Maure...), while also turning his distinctive choreographic style to re-readings of such classic ballets as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Coppélia, La Belle au Bois Dormant, Swan Lake, The Wooden Prince and Don Quixote. He choreographed a new production of Romeo and Juliet in March 2009.

Charles Jude won the Nijinski Prize in 1976 and the Lifar Prize in 1988, and has been appointed Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (1990), Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur (1996) and Officier des Arts et des Lettres (2001).