French ballerina Sylvie Guillem set for farewell world dance tour in 2015

French ballet superstar Sylvie Guillem performing in 6,000 Miles Away. The world-renowned French ballerina will dance a series of farewell performances next year in a programme entitled Life In Progress, that will be produced by London's Sadler's Wel
French ballet superstar Sylvie Guillem performing in 6,000 Miles Away. The world-renowned French ballerina will dance a series of farewell performances next year in a programme entitled Life In Progress, that will be produced by London's Sadler's Wells. -- PHOTO:  LESLEY LESLIE-SPINKS

LONDON (REUTERS) - World-renowned French ballerina Sylvie Guillem will dance a series of farewell performances next year in a programme entitled Life In Progress, that will be produced by London's Sadler's Wells.

The show will have its premiere in Modena, Italy, in March and be staged at the Sadler's Wells theatre at the end of May. The final performances will be held in Tokyo in December 2015.

The Paris-born Guillem, who has been dancing professionally for almost four decades and was once a protege of the great Russian dancer Rudolf Nureyev, is often described as one of the world's best dancers.

"I have loved every moment of the last 39 years, and today, I am still loving it in the same way," Guillem said in a statement, referring to the time she started learning ballet at age 11, after having started out as a gymnast.

"So why stop? Very simply, because I want to end while I am still happy doing what I do with pride and passion."

Guillem turns 50 next year and has managed to extend her career for far longer than many other star ballerinas.

Sadler's Wells, in announcing its spring-summer 2015 season, said that Guillem, an associate artist at the house since 2006, would perform new and existing works by choreographers who have influenced her career.

The works include two new pieces by Akram Khan, a duet with Italian dancer Emanuela Montanari from Milan's La Scala choreographed by Russell Maliphant and the solo dance "Bye" by Mats Ek.