“Art and culture are a commodity and a practice, both individual and collective, with nurturing and empowering potential. Artists’ endeavors cannot be quantified and must not be normative. Their value hinges on their singularity and generosity in sharing with the audience the issues raised by the developments of society as well as the wonder and pleasure caused by the unique and unprecedented quality of a performance.”
Didier Deschamps, director of the Théâtre National de Chaillot
The Théâtre National de Chaillot is one of France’s five national theaters (public institutions whose missions are defined by the State) and the first one to carry out a project built upon and around dance. Under the double authority of the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and the Ministry of Budget, it has been headed since 2011 by choreographer and dancer Didier Deschamps.
The Théâtre National de Chaillot is one of the most prestigious places in Paris, not only for its important contribution to the history of the performing arts, and in particular the great adventure of the “People’s National Theater” – created by Firmin Gémier and later championed by an iconic figure, Jean Vilar – but also to the history of France as it is here that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948.
Located in a unique venue at the center of the capital, the theater can accommodate every night more than 1,600 spectators in its three auditoriums. Its lobby overlooks the fountains of the Trocadéro out to the Eiffel Tower and the Champs de Mars, offering night and day one of the world’s most famous views. The theater also houses a large collection of sculptures, paintings, frescoes and pastels by the greatest artists of the time, including Paul Belmondo, Louis Billotey, Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Brianchon, Maurice Denis, Othon Friez and Édouard Vuillard.
Dedicated to dance and theater shows – with a focus on choreography since 2008 – the three stages of the theater have seen performances by the major artists of the last sixty years, choreographers and directors internationally acclaimed or representative of the innovative and emerging efforts of the contemporary scene. The Théâtre National de Chaillot is a place of creation that supports each year many productions, and primarily those of José Montalvo, the permanent choreographer. Finally, the theater is fully aware of the wide variety of audiences and thus conducts an active policy of artistic and cultural education through an ambitious program called “The Art of being a spectator”.