Elisabeth Platel first studied dance at the Conservatoire de Saint-Germain-en-Laye, followed by the Conservatoire National Superieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. She graduated with distinction (First Prize) in 1975, which opened the doors for her to the National Opera's School of Dance. After having joined the Corps de Ballet the following year, she was promoted to First Soloist in 1979. At the end of her premiere in Giselle on 23 December, 1981, Elisabeth Platel has received the title of Danseuse Etoile.
With her excellent interpretation of classic and academic repertoires, she was chosen by Rudolph Nureyev — then Director of the Paris Opera Ballet — to create the leading roles in Raymonda (1983), Swan Lake (1984), Sleeping Beauty (1989), and in his last creation, La I Bayadere (1992). Elisabeth Platel also participated in numerous I additions to the repertoire, becoming a revered interpreter of works by George Balanchine and John Neumeier, without neglecting contemporary works (Alwin Nikolais' Schema, Glen Tetley's Voluntaries, Nils Christe's Before Nightfall…) A regular guest dancer with companies such as Moscow's Bolshoi Theatre London's Royal Ballet Hamburg Ballet Royal Danish Ballet and St. Petersburg's Kirov Ballet her awards include the Prix Massine (1998) and the Benois de la Danse prize (1999), which have been awarded her throughout her career and notably her role as Ambassador of the French school around the world.
In July 9 1999 she bade an official farewell with the Paris Opera in La Sylphide subsequently appearing as guest star (La Bayadere and Raymonda in 2000 Midsummer Night's Dream in 2001). During many years Elisabeth Platel has also worked as visiting professor and coach in France and abroad notably alongside Claude Bessy — in the staging of Suite en blanc (1996) and Daphnis and Chloe (1998) at the Theatre of Rio de Janeiro — and Pierre Lacotte — for the restaging of La Sylphide (1997) in the same theatre, as well as on Paquita (2001) at the Palais Garnier.
In early 2004 she succeeded Claude Bessy as the Director of the School of Dance.
Elisabeth Platel has received the titles of Chevalier des Arts et Lettres Chevalier de la Legion d'honneur and Officier du l'Ordre national du merite.