The Paris Opera Ballet’s Extraordinary School

Tobi Tobias spend a day at the School of the Paris Opera Ballet and comes away dazzled. “On their own, these 16- to 18-year-old ingénues display sparkling footwork that makes you think of water drops set in play by an exuberant fountain. Their extensions fly high, as do their huge cross-stage leaps, yet everything appears unforced. The beautiful alignment in which they’ve been schooled from the start—and can now maintain even when they’re sweeping through space—has become second nature, and they’ve learned to make the correctness that governs their most complicated and difficult feats look like child’s play.”