Jean-Christophe Maillot opened the doors of his dance universe at the Inattendus in the Salle Garnier in Monte-Carlo

Unique dress rehearsal of Nutcracker Company 

It was a rare sight to enter the magnificent Salle Garnier in the Opera of Monte-Carlo last Friday, December 11, and see dozens of ballet dancers training and doing warm up exercises at the barre on the stage. Jean Christophe Maillot, Director of the Ballet of Monte-Carlo, does not cease to surprise us by creating the Inattendus, inviting the public to join him and his dancers during the final adjustments in the last dress rehearsal before the main presentation of Nutcracker Company to be performed at the Grimaldi Forum from December 29, 2015, through January 4, 2016. The audience had a unique opportunity to share an exceptional and intimate moment with the dancers in one of the most beautiful theaters in the world!

Insights into the life of a ballet company and the dancers

Maillot with his dancers on stage during the Inattendus December 2015 Salle Garnier (4) @Alice BlangeroJean-Christophe Maillot loves building bridges with his public enticing us to join him and the dancers in his fantastic universe, where everything is possible and where dance is a form of wizardry. He shares their secrets and ambitions, making us part of the creation process, instead of remaining as simple spectators. From the Imprevus in their Studio to the Inattendus at the Salle Garnier, we get closer and closer to the professional dancers from the company, giving their lives plus their sweat, tears and sometimes blood to have the honor and pleasure of performing on stage. And in this particular case Maillot invited a selected group of students from the Princess Grace Academy, in all their tender youth and enthusiasm, to work along the experienced dancers. It is in opportunities like this that the public can begin to understand that natural born talent is not enough, as dancers are artists and athletes, and their world is similar to that of extreme sports. Dancers must work very hard, repeat constantly and persevere, in their quest for the ever-elusive mastery.

Maillot, story teller extraordinaire, was on stage and addressed the public to give us insider information of the world of dance. Dancers don’t always get the role they want, get the job they want, hear the compliments they wish, make the money they think they deserve, or see companies run the way they want, and so on. That lack of control over what happens around them instills in them humility and respect for the process, the art form and the masters they chose to teach them. We learned that dancers learn even from their least favorite teachers, choreographers and even directors. Somebody wisely said: It is what we think we know that keeps us from learning. Dancers become soon aware that their career may suddenly come to an end: the company closes or an ending injury, so they dance each time as if it would be the final performance, and they don’t save their joy for the stage but they put passion even in their routine exercises. They become well aware not to compare themselves to others and to focus on what they are good at, the things they need to work on and whatever makes them happy. Sometimes they will fail and failure is part of life and that’s when the lesson becomes important and there is an opportunity to grow.

Dreams come true through magic

Nutcracker Company, that premiered in 2013, is yet another Maillot’s innovative version of the classical ballet The Nutcracker, created in complicity with Princess Caroline who is President of the Ballets of Monte-Carlo, and this production is different from his previous Nutcracker Circus, that debuted in the Principality in 1999. In this ultra modern interpretation Maillot recreates the life of a dance company using the same characters of the Hoffmann’s fairy tale from 1816, except that Maillot molds them into his own unique plot inserting his own emblematic personages from the ballets he had created over two decades (Romeo & Juliet, La Belle), and celebrating the 30 years of the trajectory of the company, from the Russian Ballets to the youngest generation. This production tells the story a little girl whose parents run a ballet company, and revolves around her dreams that come true through magic.

Reuniting company dancers, students and guests from the Bolchoi Ballet

Reuniting the dancers of the company, the students of the Academy and two dancers from the Bolchoi Ballet Olga Smirnova and Artem Ovcharenko, Maillot makes of this piece the symbol of his career with the Ballet of Monte-Carlo that started back in 1993, while at the same time honoring Serge de Diaghilev who created the Russian Ballets in the Principality a century ago. Maillot’s choreography spans from classical to cutting-edge dance movement, a true artisan with an exhilarating edge that makes this production colorful, festive, dazzling and captivating! Nutcracker Company is a holiday treasure for all ages, not to be missed!

Reservations for Nutcracker Company

  • Nutcracker Company
  • Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot – Accompanied by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Director: Nicolas Brochot
  • The dancers from the Ballet of Monte-Carlo with the participation of the students of the Princess Grace Dance Academy
  • December 29th, 30th, 31th, 2015 at 20h00 – January 2nd, 4th, 2016 at 20h00 – January 3rd, 2016 at 16h00
  • Grimaldi Forum – 10 Avenue Princesse Grace, MC 98000 Monaco – Telephone: +377 99 99 30 00
  • Reservations: or by phone +377 99 99 30 00

Today’s quote

“It is wise to learn; it is God-like to create.” John Godfrey Saxe, American poet


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