A living legend and a leading figure in the world of dance, Marie-Claude Pietragalla is acclaimed around the world as a dancer, choreographer, creator of innovative projects and teacher.
At the age of sixteen, she joined the Corps de Ballet of the Opéra National de Paris and a few years later she was appointed Première danseuse under the direction of the great Rudolf Nureyev. In 1990, she was named Danseuse étoile, a consecration that opened the doors to an exceptional and unusual career. At the Opéra National de Paris, she performed ballets by the greatest choreographers in the history of dance, including George Balanchine, Merce Cunningham, Maurice Béjart, Jiří Kylián, Roland Petit, Mats Ek, William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins and Carolyn Carlson.
In 1998, she was appointed director of the Ballet National de Marseille and its École Nationale Supérieure de Danse. During her tenure in Marseille, she created nine choreographies, all of which were acclaimed by the press and the public. In 2000, she was the first dancer in history to perform at the Olympia, in Don't Look Back, a mythical solo with which she travelled the world for ten years.
In 2004, Marie-Claude Pietragalla founded the company Le Théâtre du Corps with the dancer and choreographer Julien Derouault. She was named Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres in 1994, Chevalier de l'ordre national du Mérite in 1997, Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 2008 and Officier des Arts et des Lettres in 2011.