Marie-Claude Pietragalla is an acclaimed and an iconic figure of French dance. She was 9 years old when she entered the Paris Opera Ballet School in 1973, and was hired by the Paris Opera ballet in 1979. Artistic director Patrick Dupond made her Etoile of the Paris Opera Ballet in 1990.
She has danced all the principal roles of the classical ballet repertoire and worked with the world most legendary contemporary choreographers: Rudolf Noureev, Maurice Béjart, Georges Balanchine, Jerome Robbins, William Forsythe, Roland Petit, Mats Ek. She won in 1998, the Paul Belmondo award, and the coveted Benois de la Danse award in Moscow.
She left the Paris Opera Ballet in 1998 to take up the position of General Director of the National Ballet of Marseille and its school, a post she held for five seasons. With Julien Derouault, they choreographed nine works, including Sakountala and Don Quixote.
In 2000, she was the first one to dance on the stage of the legendary Olympia theatre in Paris with her solo Don’t look back (choreographed by Carolyn Carlson) and toured the world with it for 10 years.
Marie-Claude Pietragalla was honoured Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2011, and Chevalier de la Légion d’honneur in 2008.
Together they choreographed:
In 2011, Poets Night
In 2010, she performed one of the leading roles in Julien Maury and Alexander Bustillo’s film Livid. She starred alongside Florent Pagny and Francois Cluset in Jacques Cortal’s 2003 film Quand je vois le soleil.
Marie-Claude Pietragalla was a jury member of the 40th 2014 Deauville American Film Festival.
In 2015, Marie-Claude Pietragalla plays with Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt: L'Elixir d'Amour, a play written by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, directed by Steve Suissa. She appears in an episode of the French TV series Mongeville of France 3.