Three works in Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s Spring Season

Scene from Maillot’s ‘Coppél-i.A. – © Alice Blangero

For its Spring Season, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo presents three full-length narrative ballets by Choreographer/Director Jean-Christophe Maillot. Coppél-i.A., LAC and Le Songe share a similar theme – exploring human nature through the spectrum of ‘fantastic’ (in the literal sense) beings – an artificial woman, a flock of swans ruled by a monster, and a host of fairy-like characters.

We’re all familiar with the story of the ballet Coppélia – a work originally written by Romantic-era choreographer Arthur Saint-Léon – which is set against the relationship between the young lovers – Franz and Swanhilda – and Dr Coppélius, whose life’s ambition is to create a living girl from a doll. This re-imagination by Maillot – which premiered on 27th December 2019 – has the same set of characters, but the difference is in the title, Coppél-i.A., with its reference to artificial intelligence (intelligence artificielle), so that the being created by Dr Coppélius challenges what the two young lovers of the story believe they know about love, and what they know about each other.

Composer Bertrand Maillot (brother of the J-C Maillot) has created an original score for Coppél-i.A. Using Delibes’ original music as a basis, he has combined with it various sequences of his own, as well as carrying out “sonic manipulations” on the Delibes score.

The décor and costumes for this production are by Aimée Moreni, lighting is by Jean-Christophe Maillot and Samuel Thery, and dramaturgy is by Jean-Christophe Maillot and Geoffroy Staquet.

Performances of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s Coppél-i.A take place in the Salles des Princes, Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on 16th, 17th and 18th April at 14h00.

Jean-Christophe Maillot’s interpretation of Swan Lake – entitled simply LAC – was written in collaboration with writer Jean Rouaud, and premiered on December 27th, 2011 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. Although the ballet is set to Tchaikovsky’s glorious score, Maillot and Rouaud bring a dramatic new slant to this classic work. The transformation of Odette from swan to human being presents the Prince with the kind of nightmarish torments which leave him grappling with a series of contrasts, such as those between white and black, good and evil, innocence and eroticism – and wondering whether humanity is solely based on such imprecise variables.

Stage design for LAC is by Ernest Pignon-Ernest, costumes by Philippe Guillotel, dramaturgy by Jean Rouaud, additional music by Bertrand Maillot and lighting by J-C Maillot and Samuel Thery.

Performances of J-C Maillot’s LAC take place in the Salles des Princes, Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th April, at 14h00.

Le Songe (The Dream) is Jean-Christophe Maillot’s take on Shakespeare’s 1595 comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The ballet, which premiered on 27th December 2005, was set to the incidental music which Mendelssohn wrote for the Shakespeare play. In this work, Maillot has taken the lines of thought and elements of all the ballets he’s created during his career, and concentrated them into three universes – that of the Athenians, the Fairies and the Artisans. In this world of unreality, we recognise the characters of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – the four young lovers and their fractious relationship, the battle of wills between Oberon and Titania – King and Queen of the fairies – and the bumbling hilarity of the Artisans – all of whom fall victim to the antics of the mischievous Puck. Truth, in this unreal world, is apparently not all it seems to be!

Scene from Maillot’s ‘Le Songe’ © Alice Blangero

Additional music to that of Mendelssohn is by Daniel Teruggi and Bertrand Maillot, stage design is by Ernest Pignon-Ernest assisted by Nicolas Normeau, costumes are by Philippe Guillotel, and lighting by Dominique Drillot.

Performances of Le Songe take place on 2nd, 3rd and 4th May, in the Salle des Princes, Grimaldi Forum, Monaco.

Further details, and information on reservations can be found on Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s website.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo now has an on-demand video platform – BMC Stream – initially created as a result of the COVID crisis, to enable audiences around the world to enjoy performances, classes, dancer profiles, interviews and documentary productions. This platform offers both subscription membership and pay-per-view options with unique interactive multi-camera viewing – see for more details.

Information sourced from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo programme notes and website

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