Non-stop dancing from dusk till sunrise – Mission accomplished!
Precisely at 18:00 on Saturday, July 1, 2017 was the launching of the F(ê)aites de la Danse spectacular show that would last 12 continuous hours in and around the mythical Casino Square of Monte-Carlo, with 250 dancers of all ages, dozens of dance professionals, and musicians. This is a first for the Principality, but it will hopefully not be the last because everybody is looking forward to the next edition by popular demand, taking into account that almost 10,000 people were present around midnight!
This exceptional event, brainchild of Jean-Christophe Maillot with the blessing of Princess Caroline of Hanover, and organized jointly by the SBM and the Monaco Government, took two years in the making. Maillot, the highly creative choreographer and Director of Monte-Carlo Ballet had originally envisioned this dance extravaganza to take place to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Ballets of Monte-Carlo in 2016, but he persevered and managed to send it into orbing a year later to a resounding success! Prince Albert did not miss the chance to come to congratulate him! (Photo insert: Jean-Christophe Maillot @Charly Gallo – Manuel Vitali/Direction de la Communication)
Maillot as principal conductor, managed to create a special atmosphere for people of all ages to share the happiness of dancing to different rhythms in the open air. There were four areas throughout the square and the terraces of the Casino, including the Salle Garnier where seats were removed to transform it into a one-time nightclub for the first time in history of this prestigious venue. The organizers thought of every detail as people were able to follow in real time the different dancing scenes through giant screens installed in the square.
Maillot’s dream of getting closer and closer to his public became a reality, as the crowd went form being spectators to joining his troupe, with their hearts beating at the same rhythm. Thank you Jean-Christophe for inviting us to be active participants in your world of dance! Mission accomplished!
Warm up at a giant bar & ending in the Salle Garnier ephemeral nightclub
It all started before sunset, when people started to trickle in the square full of curiosity and excitement, where a giant bar (barre en French) had been installed for the dancers and the public to warm up bathed under the last rays of sun, following the indications of no other than Richard Coudray, Ballet Master of Malandain Ballet in Biarritz.
Antonio Castrignano and his band took the stage engaging the crowd into frenetic tarantellas. This talented musician, from a small village of Calimera in the area of Puglia, gives a voice to the culture and stories of his village, expressing the joy of living through music. It was just perfect to ignite the public.
For those who love retro dancing there was rock of the 50s and the Dolce Vita. Ballroom Dancing was also present with: slow waltz, tango, foxtrot, Charleston, Viennese waltz, samba, rumba, cha-cha, jive, paso doble. In summary there were rhythms from different countries and for all tastes, and nobody was left aside since pros and amateurs invited everybody to join in!
The dance extravaganza occupied the entire urban area of the Casino Square offering incredible performances by Les Echassiers Pneumatiques and Les Yamakasi with awesome acrobatic demonstrations; artistic roller-skating by Le Patin Libre; a Hip Hop Battle with the participation of the finest dancers alongside amateurs and beginners.
The electrifying solo show by the famous “Pole Fairy” Marion Crampe, mystified the audience with her grace, strength and sensuality, performing acrobatic tricks suspending her weight, and propelling it around the metal pole, with her bare skin gripping the pole. Beyond the sexy dancing characteristic of strip clubs with girls in high heels, pole dancing is a full body workout, resistance training and cardio all in one, plus a marvelous artistic display. Marion Crampe’s performance was followed by a Pole dancing demonstration in the Atrium of the Salle Garnier.
As the sun disappeared and shadows started creeping into the Casino Square, you could then hear the sound of the reflectors, and lights started to be projected onto the buildings and the people, and the Casino Square was magically dressed for the evening looking even more dramatic and radiant! Under the lights more people ventured to join in the dance. (Photo below: The Casino Square ©Charly Gallo – Manuel Vitali : Direction de la Communication). Let the show go on!
At midnight the public was re-energized by a feverish performance by the Ballets of Monte-Carlo to the tunes of Antonio Castrignano. A flash mob followed with professional inviting the spectators to join in, transforming the Casino Square into an immense outdoor dance floor, totally exhilarating.
A rain of confetti colored the square in what could have been a grand finale , but that was not the end, as a Giant Disco in the opened with DJ Boust, Artistic Director of Le Baron in Paris, in the turntable. At 2:00 in the morning all noise had to stop, so DJ Boust moved into the nightclub at the Opera Garnier making everybody dance till the wee hours of the morning using headphones of course, not to bother the neighbors!
“How do I feel when I dance? Alive!” Marion Crampe