Ballerinas perform ‘Swan Lake’ in protest against France’s pension reform

27 December 2019, 10:40 | Updated: 27 December 2019, 11:08

Ballerinas protest outside Opéra Garnier
Ballerinas protest outside Opéra Garnier. Picture: Twitter/Emmanuel Tixier

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Ballet dancers took to the steps of the Opéra Garnier in Paris, to protest against French president Emmanuel Macon’s pension reform plans.

Ballerinas from the Paris Opera performed a piece from Swan Lake on Tuesday, in protest of the French government’s pension reform plan.

Twenty-seven ballet dancers took to the steps of the Opéra Garnier in Paris on Christmas Eve (24 December) to revolt against plans to scrap their special pension scheme, which currently allows them to retire at the age of 42.

The Ballet Opéra Paris have also cancelled 11 of their scheduled performances, joining nationwide strikes that have been going on across France.

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Hundreds of spectators watched as the dancers performed a piece from Tchaikovsky’s ballet. Behind the dancers, two banners read ‘Opera de Paris Greve’ (‘Paris Opera on strike’) and ‘La culture en danger’ (‘Culture in danger’).

Since 5 December, workers unions have been protesting against government’s plans to change the country’s retirement system.

Alexandre Carniato, a Paris Opera dancer, told France 24 (translated from French): “It’s daily work. It’s every day, every morning. And to get to that level, there’s a limit, a constraint.

“If you want to continue seeing pretty dancers on stage, they can’t go on until 64. It’s not possible.”