This month, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo – under the Presidency of HRH the Princess of Hanover – sets off on an international tour, taking Jean-Christophe Maillot’s LAC to California, New York, London, Lyon and Paris.
One of the great narrative ballets for which Maillot – the Company’s Director-Choreographer – is internationally renowned, LAC was a resounding success during its premiere season in 2011. It has since taken its place in the repertoire of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo among works which have received worldwide acclaim, and on which the Company has built its reputation. This repertoire includes Maillot’s interpretation of Roméo et Juliette (1996), Cendrillon (Cinderella) in 1999, La Belle (The Sleeping Beauty) in 2001 and Casse-Noisette et Compagnie (The Nutcracker) in 2013.
LAC represents Jean-Christophe Maillot’s personal interpretation of Swan Lake. It emerged from a concept which he’d been nurturing for 10 years, before finally setting it to dance – the result of his collaboration with French author, Jean Rouaud, winner of the 1990 Prix Goncourt, for his novel Fields of Glory.
Maillot’s ballets are best described by the choreographer himself. LAC “revives the torments of a story with a direct connection to our childhood fears and nightmares – buried experiences which are resurrected and combined against a Machiavellian, family backdrop” – which he has used to present a ballet of contrasts. Maillot has his Prince “faltering between white and black, good and evil, frankness and eroticism”, raising the question as to whether this “unsophisticated insatiability” is what defines us as humans.
The ballet is set to Tchaikovsky’s enduringly beautiful score, with additional music by contemporary composer, Bertrand Maillot. Staging is by visual artist Ernest Pignon Ernest – who has worked with Jean-Christophe Maillot for many years – costume design by Philippe Guillotel, and lighting by Maillot himself, with Samuel Thery.
Described as neither classical nor contemporary in his approach to ballet, Jean-Christophe 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.
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo presents LAC at the Segerstrom Center, Costa Mesa, in California, from 7th to 9th March; at New York City Center, from 14th to 16th March; at the London Coliseum, from 9th to 13th April; at Maison de la Danse in Lyon, from 21st to 25th May; and at Théâtre National de Chaillot in Paris, from 5th to 13th June.
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