From the Studio to the Stage
This past Monday, December 4, 2017, I had the privilege together with other members of the Friends of the Ballet of Monte-Carlo and loyal supporters to attend the Imprevus of The Taming of The Shrew, at the company’s state-of-the-art studio. This is a rare occasion to go behind the scenes of what the dancers live daily, as they prepare to take to the stage of the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco to perform this wonderful piece for the first time.
Dancers were making final adjustments under the watchful eyes of Jean-Christophe Maillot, who demands technical perfection married to emotional conviction. While his assistant, former prima ballerina Bernice Coppieters, was franticaly taking notes while moving on her seat in unison with each dancer. Jean-Christophe manages to bring the public closer to the artists, and we are able to hear they hearts beating and see the pearls of perspiration rolling through their faces and bodies, and become active part in the performance. What a treat!
The Taming of the Shrew – Love, sweat and tears
This ballet in two acts, based on the play by William Shakespeare, was specially created for the Bolshoi dancers by Jean Christophe Maillot, who also selected music by Dmitry Shostakovich. This fantastic production was given a standing ovation at its premier in July 2014 in Moscow, and was again a success in the Principality with the participation of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo directed by talented contemporary Russian conductor Igor Dronov, and the Bolshoi dancers. This masterpiece returns to Monaco, but for the first time compiled by Jean-Christophe Maillot especially for the dancers of the Ballets of Monte-Carlo, December 28-31 and January 2-5, at the Salle des Princes of the Grimaldi Forum.
The Taming of the Shrew is a comedy by William Shakespeare, written between 1590 and 1592. The main plot depicts Baptista as a rich gentleman and the father of Katherina and Bianca. Tradition forced him to marry his elder daughter Katherina first even when all suitors prefered younger and gentler Bianca. The subplot features a competition between the elder sister suitors and her more desirable sister Bianca. The main story centers on the courtship of Petruchio, a gentleman from Verona, and Katherina, the headstrong, obdurate shrew, a woman with violent temper and how her husband tames her to submission. The play has been subject to critical controversy, misogynist and patriarchal even if it is a farce
The Taming of the Shrew is mostly humorous with a twist of irony, while addressing a serious theme: the search for your soul mate in a world where convention defeats trust, so finding the perfect partner is a paramount challenge. Jean-Christophe Maillot made it a point to focus on what is vital in a romantic relationship repudiating the notion of male supremacy, by deconstructing love in all its forms, throwing caution to the wind and questioning social conventions, while constantly pushing his dancers to make a quantum leap outside the box, both physically and emotionally.
Reserve your tickets now!
La Mégère Apprivoisée (The Taming of the Shrew) – Salle des Princes, Grimaldi Forum Monaco
- December 28, 29, 30, 31, 2017 – 20:00
- January 2, 3, 4, 2018 – 20:00 & January 5, 2018 – 16:00
For information and reservations: www.balletsdemontecarlo.com
“Always the question for dancers is: Can we fly?” Jean-Christophe Maillot