L’Opéra 2, the review: arabesque of suffering on tiptoe

Lasts the life of the film or television sequel. Younger brother of a perfect firstborn, flawless, obedient and impeccable, expectations towards this secondborn rise, strengthened by an illusory belief that all those qualities already demonstrated by the firstborn are reiterated by the second. But if it is true that we are all born special because they are unique in our kind, even in the sequels a completely original nature begins to develop, similar but never the same as those preceding it.

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L’Opéra 2: a scene from the series

As we will point out in this review de The Opera 2the serie created by Cécile Ducrocq and available on Sky, wants to make things clear right away: it is not, and does not want to be, a mere “copy and paste” operation of the previous season. A few minutes are enough and the differences that distance it from the first series are clear. No crying at the top of their lungs to fill the rehearsal room; The Opera 2 she enters the world on tiptoe, silent, like the dancers she captures and returns with silent elegance. No earthquake to shake the lives of its protagonists; no emotional breakdowns that drive them to self-destruct. The first episodes follow one another with continuous light, imperceptible arabesques, in an upward ascent that will hurl the viewer towards an implosion of seemingly tranquil events, but full of fear and fragility.

L’Opéra 2: the plot

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L’Opéra 2: a scene from the series

The Paris Opera house reopens its doors, proposing new programs, new projects, new dramas and intrigues in the shadow of the stage. The young Flora and the étoile Zoé return to twirl elegantly starting practically from scratch. Sebastien’s (Raphaël Personnaz) exit caused many problems, but now the dance company has finally found a new leader, Diane Taillandier (Anne Alvaro). The dancers feel extremely motivated thanks to her presence, but something nefarious begins to make its way through the corridors of the theatre, leaving glimmers of fatigue, difficulty, prejudices and continuous competition free to move.

L’Opéra, the review of the first four episodes: life between falls and steps on tiptoe

Suffer for one, suffer for all

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L’Opéra 2: a scene from the series

No more inquisitive gazes on single black swans hidden in the shadow of the white swan: the camera now widens, gathering its protagonists in a choral story, that of a company where personal ambition turns into a sense of threat, and of vexations that take everything and hit everything. No étoile is now ready to steal the show and channel the attention of its adoring audience to itself; in the world of The Opera 2 everything opens up, anchors itself to the sufferings of one to multiply and elevate itself in that of all. Unlike the previous season, The Opera 2 she dances on tiptoe, without overdoing it, she trains and takes her time to dance with extreme confidence, leaving a deep mark in the most invisible layer of her audience.

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L’Opéra 2: a scene from the series

Nonetheless, this substratum of tranquility which conceals an inner volcano on the verge of exploding risks boring the viewer, reducing his attention span to zero. Over the course of four episodes, the one concocted by Cécile Ducroq is a preparatory model full of needles and threads that sew, weave, to create a season finale that screams in a dull cry, overwhelming the soul with its impact force and the body of your spectator. There will be an accident; there will be offenses, mental relapses, but all of it The Opera 2 it will be conveyed in electric shocks designed to keep alive a linear story, which walks slowly, to then launch itself into a final sprint where the heart beats strongly and the adrenaline is discharged with sudden force.

The dance of hidden pain

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L’Opéra 2: a scene from the series

Away from the stage, Zoé’s (Ariane Labed) star shines with an ever fainter light. Her ambitious étoile, willing to do anything to fight in the name of her talent, leaves room for that world previously kept hidden in the shadow of her personality. A presence/absence, that of the protagonist, which will allow other legs to launch themselves onto the stage, and other gazes to pierce the invisible curtain that separated them from their spectators. Exploiting the potential of an expressiveness played in subtraction, these young dancers now receive the role of principal dancers dragging a script full of painful silences, and flat paths full of traps and sudden holes. Without falling into the horror psychologism of Darren Aronofsky and his The black Swanthe second season of L’Opéra inherits that introspective minimalism of the previous season to investigate at a safe distance the (self)-saboteur attacks that catch the helpless protagonists of the TV series created by Cecile Ducrocq. A symbiosis between stage and dance, falls on stage, and psychological repercussions that reverberate in the performances of their interpreters. Once again, what is surprising is the ability to Suzy Bemba to model one’s Flora on a disarming naturalness, eliminating the distances that separate it from its spectators. It is in that proud gaze, never low, and always ready to challenge a system that asks and does not gratify, that insults and does not caress, that her Flora embodies the aspirations and desires of a young dancer held back by looks and prejudices for the color of her own skin, or for a career that started too late.

Dance for your revenge


The Opéra: a scene from the series

The mirrors that return the reflected image of smiling dancers on stage, but empty inside, make their appearance in a less evident way than in the previous season. A non-causal choice, but born out of that desire to scrutinize the world of dance more closely, sacrificing inner monsters to show devils on earth. And so, the ghosts of the protagonist who danced silently surrounding her with fears and fears, now leave room for a wider, more human story, made up of internal wounds, and badly closed scars due to adolescent insults, or traumas that have never been overcome. A sharing of emotions and suffering that widens by touching and injuring each member of the dance body, so as to influence its perfect functioning, such as breaking a limb which compromises the movement of the whole body.

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The Opera: Ariane Labed in a scene

Those caught by the ears of the dancers, and reverberated by insecure movements and gazes burning with hatred, are curses launched by a mouth like Diane’s, which promises and doesn’t keep, destroys but doesn’t rebuild. They are vitriolic jokes, words chewed and spat out with pure narcissism, daughters of a personality that Cécile Ducrocq outlines with profound introspection on paper, and the actress Anne Alvaro returns mephistopheletically to the screen. A game of complicity and perfect internalization that makes this series a direct and never sweetened look where the world of dance dirty the white of the tutu with the red of revenge, and the black of disappointment.

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Extraordinary dances of ordinary existences

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The Opera: a scene with Ariane Labed

Freed from the idea that the screen becomes a simple window into extraordinary existences, the spectator underestimates the power grafted on by the ordinariness of apparently normal lives. And those immortalized by The Opera 2 they actually show themselves as flashes of an everyday life caught almost by mistake. Apparent happenings of probable existences, the sequences collected in this second season don’t want to focus on spectacular virtuosity, but rather reveal the essence of unexpressed ghosts of existences caught on tiptoe and ready to fall into the abyss of the personal understage. And so behind the sequins, the feathers and the spotlights, it hides in Opera 2 a human subsoil suffocated by anger, kleptomania, desire and personal betrayal. An almost documentary-like anthropological essay that makes this season a story read in a low voice, but for this reason even more captivating and engaging in its point of maximum disillusionment, where everything trembles, crumbles, tears like skin destroyed by painful blisters.


We conclude this review of L’Opéra 2, emphasizing how the return of the étoile Zoe and the rest of the Parisian corps de ballet confirms its being a solid, probable and credible product. The distances between the represented and the spectator world decay, offering the illusion of witnessing real everyday life with real difficulties.

Because we like it

  • The investigation into the frailties and pains that the dancers reverberate in dance.
  • The natural performances of the actors.
  • The expressiveness of the interpreters played in subtraction.
  • The dance inserts.

What’s wrong

  • Too much linearity and “tranquility” of the story that characterize the first episodes.
  • Certain situations that can be completely eliminated.

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