Sophie Ponthier is the founder and Artistic director of the Ballets Artémis in Fontenay le Fleury (Versailles area) France since 2004.
Sophie Ponthier was born in Versailles, France.
She begun her ballet training in the French method « Ecole française » at Conservatoire National de Région de Paris with Liane Daydé . 1ère Danseuse Etoile, Paris Opera Ballet- , Christiane Vlassi - Danseuse Etoile, Paris Opéra Ballet and teacher at the Paris Opera Ballet School . and Jacques Lecoque. During these years, she was exposed to the French repertoire - « Coppélia », « Suite romantique » - as well as Serge Lifar ballets such as « Suite en blanc ».
In 1992, Ms. Ponthier is awarded a 1st Prize (Gold Medal) from Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris, competed at « Prix de Lausanne » and was awarded Gold Medal with Honors at Concours International de Grasse, France.
After attending 2 summer programs at Vaganova Academy in 1991 and 1992, Ms. Ponthier chose to continue her training in the Russian Method with Cristina Hamel . Principal, Bucarest Romanian Opera . at the Ballettakademie Köln, Germany and was then also exposed to Graham/Cunningham techniques with Michael B. Hall.
During that period of time, Sophie Ponthier was selected to competed at Paris IBC, received a 2nd Prize at Concours International « Jacques Ibert » at Houlgate, France and a Gold Medal at « Concours International de Caen » France. While being exposed to large diversity of choreographic styles ranging from classical repertoire to tanztheater, her repertoire with the Academy included Carlotta Grisi's rôle in « pas de Quatre », Swanilda in « Coppélia » ballet production choreographed by Heidrunn Schwaarz (Aalto Ballett Essen's Artistic Director), Lead role in « Carmina Burana » contemporary ballet production choreographed by Markus Brühl (Ballett Kiel's Artistic Director) and « Gewicht, Swerkraft und...bete ! » choreographed by Tuong Phuong (choreographer and dancer Tanz Forum, Cologne).
She also performed during summer as apprentice with Fort Wayne Ballet (1993) and Montgomery Ballet (1994), and during winter season 1994 with Deutsche Oper am Rhein . Düsseldorf . under the direction of Heinz Sperli. In June 1994, Sophie Ponthier graduated with Honors from Ballettakademie Cologne.
In 1995, Sophie Ponthier appeared as guest soloist at Thüringer Landestheater . Eisenach, Germany . under the direction of Sijbrand De Lange and during the following seasons, she joined Oper der Stadt Bonn, Germany. Under the direction of Valery Panov, she performed in « Giselle » and was also cast by invited choreographer Youri Vamos in « A Midsummernight's Dream » and « Sleeping Beauty - the last daughter of the Czar ».
During summer season 1997, Sophie Ponthier joined Ballet Clasico de Madrid. Under the direction of Adolfo Leon, her repertoire included: « Giselle », « Swan Lake», « El Sombrero de tres picos », « El amor brujo » and « Shéhérazade ».
During season 1997-1998, she joined as an inaugural Principal and Ballet Mistress of Gavina Ballet, in Barcelona, Spain. Under the direction of Daniel Bonatti, her repertoire included « Carmina Burana », « Tango », « Misas » as well as Medora « Le Corsaire, Pas de deux », Odile « Black Swan, Pas de Deux», Kitri « Don Quixotte, Pas de deux ».
After competiting at USA-IBC Jackson 1998 in Senior Division, Sophie Ponthier joined Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, directed by Nanette Glushak, and took part in John Cranko's «Romeo and Juliet » production.
Sophie Ponthier pursued her career as free-lance artist performing in various gala performances.
Artistic Director / Faculty Member
Between 2002 and 2004, Sophie Ponthier taught in France at « Conservatoire Municipal » de Claye-Souilly, « Centre Chorégraphique Marie-Louise Prévot » de Villeneuve-la-Garenne and « Rythme et Danse » de Bailly - Noisy le Roi.
In 2004, Sophie Ponthier founded Ballets Artémis at Fontenay le Fleury (Versailles Grand Parc area) in France and has been its Artistic Director since then.
Ballets Artémis serves approximately 150 students and encompasses a "Pre-Professional Program" for dancers ages 11-19 and an "Amateurs" Division for dancers ages 4-adults.
The curriculum includes :
Ballet, Classical Ballet Repertoire and variations, Character Dance, Floor barre.
In addition, Pilates, Music Theory and Dance History classes are provided in collaboration with local and regional Music Conservatories and Pilates studios.
Examinations are held once a year. Jury members include Paris Opera Ballet dancers and reknowned teachers.
The curriculum of the Ballets Artémis is ABT's National Training Curriculum, which combines scientific principles with elements from the classic French, Italian and Russian schools of training.
It aims to provide the highest quality ballet training with a rich knowledge of classical technique and the ability to adapt to all styles and techniques of dance.
Sophie Ponthier holds the « Diplôme d'Etat de Professeur de Danse Classique », equivalent of a BA in Dance Pedagogy (a legally mandatory diploma in France to teach Ballet, especially pointe work) and the « Certificat d'Aptitude de professeur de danse classique », equivalent of a Master Degree, highest diploma for Ballet teaching in France, and approximately a hundred holders of Certificat d'Aptitude ("CA") for Ballet in the whole country.
In addition, since 2014, Sophie Ponthier is an ABT® Certified Teacher, who has successfully completed the ABT® Teacher Training Intensive in Pre-Primary through Level 7 and Partnering of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.
Alumni of Ballets Artémis have gone on to join many prestigious ballet companies including Paris Opera Ballet, West Australian Ballet, Lituanian National Ballet, Romanian National Ballet, Ballet du Capitole de Toulouse, Hannover Ballet, Ballet de Nice Méditerranée. Numerous students have succesfully auditioned and later studied full time in major international ballet schools including Paris Opera ballet School, English National Ballet School, Paris National Superior Conservatory, Lyon National Superior Conservatory, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Cannes - Rosella Hightower, Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Marseille.
In March 2003, Sophie Ponthier has been asked by Liane Daydé, Artistic director of « La Scène Française » Ballet Competition, to take part in the competition's organisation committee. Ms. Ponthier has been a jury member every year since then. She also regularly takes part in National Conservatories Examination Juries.
As Ballet Mistress at Gavina Ballet, Sophie Ponthier had the opportunity to choreograph 2 short pieces :
"Contrastes" (JS Bach) and "Ellas" (Conjunto Iberico).
As Artistic Director, Ms. Ponthier has choreographed the following ballet for Ballets Artémis - Atelier chorégraphique :
Full length Ballet Productions :
« Coppélia » 2006
« Giselle » 2007
« A MidSummer Night's Dream » 2009
« The Nutcracker » 2010 - Coproduction with Theatre de Fontenay
(and regularly performed since)
« The Sleeping Beauty » 2013 - Coproduction with Theatre de Fontenay
« Swan Lake » 2015 - Coproduction with Theatre de Fontenay
« Cendrillon » 2017- Coproduction with Theatre de Fontenay
Short choreographic works :
« Violin Concerto » 2016
« Tocades » 2016 - Coproduction with Theatre de Fontenay
Creations / Collaborations with David Baconnet, Tenor and Conductor
« Orphée aux enfers », Operetta 2007 in collaboration with Fontenay le Fleury Orchestra
« Gala Offenbach » 2008 in collaboration with Fontenay le Fleury Music School Vocal Ensemble
« Requiem de Mozart » 2012 in collaboration with Versailles Grand Parc Orchestra
« Le Voyage dans la Lune, Offenbach », Operetta 2014 in collaboration with OPYOF Orchestra and "Les Clefs Lyriques" Vocal Ensemble