The Paris Opera Ballet was good to Mathilde Froustey. She joined the world-renowned company at age 17 after just two years in the Paris Opera Ballet School, worked her way through the ranks, and eventually became a soloist. After 11 years in the company, Froustey needed a change.
At the end of 2013 she signed a contract with San Francisco Ballet, making her the newest, and most talked about principal dancer. “I was really happy at Paris Opera,” she begins in slightly self-conscious English that is much better than she thinks it is, “It's a great company and it's a great city, Paris. But I needed to get fresh air.”
“[Something that is] very different at San Francisco Ballet than at Paris Opera is that everybody comes from the school. So most of the dancers know each other from eight years old. It's always the same people around you. You cannot get into the company if you have not done the school. There is nobody from a different country. It's all just French people. I felt like I needed to change companies to see something else; to see other people, other languages, other choreography.”