Princess Grace Academy celebrates Jean-Christophe Maillot anniversary


‘Choré’, one of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s most recent creations
Photo courtesy Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

Jean-Christophe Maillot celebrates the 20th anniversary of his appointment as Director and Choreographer of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo on 11th December, and students of Monaco’s Princess Grace Academy are to present a ‘Surprise Evening’ in the Salle Garnier at the Monte-Carlo Opera in his honour.

Organised by Luca Masala, Director of the Academy, the event will feature a selection of works from Maillot’s repertoire, but details of the programme are being kept under wraps until the performance.  An order has been issued that nothing at all is to be revealed in advance – and M Maillot himself is not even being let into the secret!

Described as neither classical nor contemporary in his approach to ballet, J-CH Maillot draws his inspiration from all aspects of the arts – theatre, dance, visual art and literature – all are instrumental in his creative process.  He is also known for his entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to including in the Company’s repertoire works by choreographers with varying styles of creativity, a repertoire seen as a valuable teaching aid for pupils of the Princess Grace Academy, instilling in them the need for great versatility in their technique as well as in their performing skills.


Jean-Christophe Maillot
Photo credit: ML Briane

Jean-Christophe Maillot studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire National de Région de Tours, then joined the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes, winning the 1977 Prix de Lausanne.  Having then been invited by John Neumeier to join the Hamburg Ballet, he danced as a soloist for Neumeier’s company for five years, before an accident forced the termination of his dancing career.

He was appointed choreographer and director of the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Tours in 1983, creating around 20 ballets for the company, and two years later he founded the Dance Festival Le Chorégraphique.  In 1987, J-CH Maillot created Le Mandarin Merveilleux for Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, and became the company’s Artistic Advisor for the 1992-93 season.  In September 1993, he was appointed Director-Choreographer by H R H the Princess of Hanover.


Maillot rehearsing a Company dancer
Photo credit: Guillaume Plisson

With his appointment, the future of this company of 50 dancers took on a new focus, one which would rapidly establish the standard of excellence and creativity for which Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo has become widely known.  Jean-Christophe Maillot has created almost 30 ballets for the Company, works such as Vers un pays sage, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, La Belle, Le Songe, Altro Canto, Faust, LAC and Choré.  Several of these have now been taken into the repertoire of a number of major international ballet companies – the Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Korean National Ballet, the Stuttgart Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, the Pacific Northwest Ballet, the American Ballet Theatre and the Béjart Ballet Lausanne.


The Monte-Carlo Opera
Monaco Press Centre Photos

The ‘Surprise Evening’ in honour of Jean-Christophe Maillot takes place at the Salle Garnier, Opéra de Monte-Carlo, on Wednesday, December 11th, at 8.30 pm.  For further information and tickets, please visit the website of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo.  Tickets may also be booked online, or by telephone on 00377 99 99 30 00.

The Company celebration of M Maillot’s anniversary takes place with the opening of Casse-Noisette et Compagnie on December 26th which Preview will be covering shortly.

Jean-Christophe Maillot


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