Paris Opera Ballet promotes Japan-born dancer to highest 'etoile' status

A 30-year-old dancer from Japan has been promoted to the highest level of the world-renowned Paris Opera Ballet.

The company announced the elevation of Hannah O'Neill to prestigious "etoile," or star, status at the end of a performance on Thursday at the Opera Garnier. Local TV said it was greeted with rapturous applause.

The Paris Opera Ballet says O'Neill is the first dancer from Japan to be promoted to etoile.

O'Neill was born in Tokyo. Her mother is Japanese and her father is from New Zealand.

She won the Prix de Lausanne in 2009 and was named best ballerina at the Benois de la Danse in Moscow in 2016.

The Paris Opera Ballet issued a congratulatory message, describing O'Neill as a new star shining in the ballet world.