In Her Own Words: Marie-Agnès Gillot

September 25, 2015

To see Marie-Agnès Gillot dance is to watch pure artistic passion at work.The prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and choreographer mesmerizes audiences around the world with her exquisite work en pointe. However, her grace belies an underlying grit: Marie-Agnès was diagnosed with double-scoliosis at age 12 and spent 21 hours a day in a restrictive surgical corset for several years. This compelling combination of agile beauty and unyielding determination is precisely why we asked her to serve as model and muse for our October journal, a testament to women who’ve captivated us with their achievements and ambitions.

For a closer look at what moves and motivates her, we sat down with Marie-Agnès and delved into the famed Proust Questionnaire.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Dancing on stage.

What is your greatest fear?
To lose my beloved one.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Stubbornness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Hypocrisy.

Which living person do you most admire?
Marianne Faithfull.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Dancing on the roof of the Palais Garnier.

What is your current state of mind?
Optimistic.

On what occasion do you lie?
To protect the people I love.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
My long arms.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Adventurousness.

Lace Sleeve Pullover and Vespertine Skirt

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Empathy.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Wait, wait, wait…”

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
My son.

When and where were you happiest?
When I gave birth.

Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My career.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Maria Callas.

Where would you most like to live?
New York.

What is your most treasured possession?
My health.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Greed.

Biennale Dress and Tourterelle Drops

What is your favorite occupation?
Embroidery.

What do you most value in your friends?
Faithfulness.

Who are your favorite writers?
Rainer Maria Rilke.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Frida Kahlo.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother.

What are your favorite names?
Magdalena, Suzanne and Solange.

What is it that you most dislike?
Greed.

What is your greatest regret?
I try not to have any regrets.

How would you like to die?
In my bed, not on stage.

What is your motto?
C’est dans la chute que je prends mon élan. (Translation: It’s within the fall that I rise.)

Fontenay Blouse  and Pleated Wide-Leg Trousers

See all of Marie’s October journal looks here, and meet more women of character right this way.