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The history of Chaillot

Chaillot - Théâtre national de la Danse -
Photo Yoann Fitoussi
Grand Foyer - Photo Yoann Fitoussi
La salle du théâtre en 1948 - Photo DR
Le bar-fumoir transformé en 1965 en salle de spectacle (Salle Firmin Gémier) - Photo DR

The Théâtre National de Chaillot is one of the five French national theatres (public institutions whose missions are defined by the State) and the only one to have a project built around and based on dance. Under the double supervision of the Ministry of Culture and Communication and the Ministry of Budget, it has been directed since 2011 by the choreographer and dancer Didier Deschamps.

The legend of Chaillot

Installed at the heart of the Palais de Chaillot, the Théâtre National de Chaillot, that became in 2016 Chaillot – National Theatre of Dance, is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions of Paris, not only for the unique place it has in the history of performing arts – namely with the great adventure of the National Popular Theatre founded by Firmin Gémier, then carried and developed by the mythical personality of Jean Vilar – but also in that of France and the world as it is in the big theatre room that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed on the 10th of December 1948. An exceptional venue in the capital, the theatre can welcome each night more than 1 600 spectators, in its three rooms (Salle Jean Vilar of 1 200 seats, Salle Firmin Gémier of 390 seats, Studio Maurice Béjart of 100 seats). Its Grand Foyer facing the Trocadéro Fountain, the Eiffel Tower and the Champ-de-Mars, permanently offers one of the most famous views in the world. The public spaces of the theatre are also host to an important collection of sculptures, paintings, frescoes and pastels signed by the greatest artists of their time: Paul Belmondo, Louis Billotey, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Brianchon, Roger Chapelain-Midy, Maurice Denis, Othon Friesz, Henri Laurens, Aristide Maillol as well as Édouard Vuillard.

The different directors

  • 1920-1951: Firmin Gémier, Alain Fourtier, Paul Abram, Pierre Aldebert
  • 1951-1981: Jean Vilar, Georges Wilson, Jack Lang, André-Louis Périnetti
  • 1981-1988: Antoine Vitez
  • 1988-2000: Jérôme Savary
  • 2000-2008: Ariel Goldenberg
  • 2008-2011: Dominique Hervieu
  • From 2011 to today: Didier Deschamps