Guillaume Diop has reached a watershed moment in his career at the age of 23. Diop was named Prima Ballerina of the Paris Opera on March 11th, the highest level in this profession.
“I’m still a little bit on cloud nine. I haven’t really realised that it really happened. I feel like it was a dream, but I’m still very emotional and very, very happy”, admitted star dancer, Guillaume Diop.
His mixed heritage, Senegalese and French have led to him being described as the first black star dancer of the Opera.
“The fact that I am described as the first black star dancer of the Opera is not something that upsets me because it is a fact, and I am happy about it”, he said.
Diop was admitted to the Opera at the age of 18, and in five years he achieved the supreme title, something that required total dedication.
“The thing that bothers me is when it is passed off as positive discrimination. That’s something I don’t think is fair in the end”, confessed the dancer. (…) “I started off in extremely difficult conditions. At 21 years old, to take over a three-act ballet with a star 4dancer in a week is not easy. And then I had crazy days. I worked from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.”.
The title obtained is also a way to motivate younger people to follow in the same footsteps.
“And so I’m really happy and proud to represent that too, because I am aware that it will help children and families to get into dance”, concluded Diop.
In less than two years, Guillaume Diop has danced several great roles in the repertoire, including “Swan Lake” and “La Bayadère”, a ballet for which he had just three days to prepare.