Jean-Marc Puissant is an award-winning set and costume designer working internationally in opera, theatre, dance and musicals. For The Royal Ballet he has designed Christopher Wheeldon’s Aeternum, Electric Counterpoint, DGV: Danse à grande vitesse and Tryst, set designs for George Balanchine’s Jewels and Javier De Frutos’s Les Enfants Terribles. For The Royal Opera he designed sets for David McVicar’s production of Aida. Further work at the Royal Opera house includes Whelan/Watson: Other Stories for The Royal Ballet, A Dream within a Midsummer Night’s Dream for Ballet Black Arthur Pita’s God’s Garden and Alexander Whitley’s The Measures Taken. He has also appeared on the main stage as a dancer with Birmingham Royal Ballet.
Puissant began his career as a dancer, training at the Paris Opera School and dancing professionally with BRB and Stuttgart Ballet. He then studied on the Motley Theatre Design Course and studied art history at the Sorbonne. He designs for leading international companies including New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, BRB, Dutch National Ballet, Rambert, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Scottish Opera, Norwegian National Opera, Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, Valencia, Menier Chocolate Factory and Théâtre du Châtelet.
Several productions Puissant has designed have won Olivier, South Bank Show and Critics’ Circle awards. He was nominated for Best Scenographer at the 2016 Benois de la danse and was a finalist at World Stage Design 2013. Several productions he has designed have won Olivier, South Bank Show and Critics’ Circle awards. He has given talks about his work at the V&A and Guggenheim Museum, New York, has tutored theatre design at Central School of Speech and Drama and is on the Board of Directors of Dance Umbrella Ltd. He is a 2018 Fellow at New York University’s Center for Ballet and the Arts.
In the 2017/18 Season he returns to design the set for Wheeldon's new ballet for The Royal Ballet.
News and features
Our quick introduction to this gorgeous three-act abstract ballet, inspired not only by gem stones but by the music of Fauré, Stravinsky and Tchaikovsky.
The dancer-turned-designer is behind some of contemporary ballet's greatest works of recent years.
Our quick guide to the world premiere from Liam Scarlett and two recent highly-acclaimed works from Kim Brandstrup and Christopher Wheeldon.
Helen Crawford, Emma Maguire and Dawid Trzensimiech in Jewels, The Royal Ballet
Eric Underwood and Zenaida Yanowsky in DGV
The Royal Ballet, Diamonds as part of Jewels
Federico Bonelli and Marianela Nuñez in Aeternum
Artists of The Royal Ballet in Aeternum
Liudmyla Monastyrska and Michael Volle in Aida, The Royal Opera
Jean-Marc Puissant. Photograph by Antonio Zazueta Olmos
Sarah Lamb and Federico Bonelli in DGV
Carlos Acosta, Zenaida Yanowsky, Sarah Lamb and dancers of The Royal Ballet in Rubies as part of Jewels