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I’ve always LOVED Paris and all things French.  My grandmother lived in France briefly as a young girl, my great-uncle taught French in Australia for over 20 years, my mother’s family lived in Belgium for 9 years (where they speak French) and I took French in middle school and high school.  Sadly, from lack of practice my knowledge of the French language has dwindled, but my love of the country and culture remains strong.  I was fortunate enough to go to Paris for Christmas 3 years ago with my mom and I fell more in love with it all.  One of the most impressive things I saw on my trip was the Palais Garnier, home of the Paris Opéra Ballet, one of the most well known ballets in the world and the oldest (the company was started during the reign of Louis XIV).  While I didn’t get to see them perform – they were touring at the time – I was able to see the beautiful theatre where their performances take place and it was awe-inspiring.

Now, the world-famous Paris Opéra Ballet is set to make its Chicago debut on June 26th.  The company of 190 dancers will take the stage at the Harris Theater for 2 different shows, led by Company Director Brigitte Lefèvre.  They open their tour with Giselle, a beloved piece that the Paris Opéra Ballet first performed 170 years ago.  Then starting on Friday, June 29th through the end of their stay, the company will perform three timeless masterpieces in a show aptly named Epic French Masterpieces.  The three masterpieces include Suite en Blanc, L’Arlésienne & Boléro.  The opening night of the performance will also host a gala benefit that will include cocktails & hors d’oeuvres before the 6pm debut of Giselle with a dinner in Millennium Park directly following the show.

There are still plenty of tickets available for each night so be sure and get yours now before it’s too late!  Au revoir mes amis, I shall see you at the Harris Theater!

Alex Chwastek

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