The Ballets of Monte-Carlo celebrated Nijinsky’s mythical persona in four acts

Honoring the Russian Ballets 

It was in 2009, that the Ballets de Monte-Carlo celebrated the centenary of the Russian Ballets in the Principality, with the objective of honoring them in grand style. Over a whole year, the Monte-Carlo Ballets captivated the audience with unrivaled unique events. This time around, the Company is renewing this festive and exciting spirit by playing four ballets that echo Nijinsky’s legendary persona, with music by the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo under the direction of Kazuki Yamada.

1) On April 19, 1911, Nijinsky performed his famous leap in The Spirit of the Rose; 2) June 13, 1911, he played Petrouchka, which will remain his favorite role; 3) On May 29, 1912, he caused outrage with his first choreography, The Afternoon of a Faun; 4) Fifteen days later, he played the lead role in Daphnis and Chloé.

Daphnis & Chloe – The art of the loving Pas de Deux

This ballet in one act with three scenes, describe by Maurice Ravel himself as a choreographic symphony, is the story of the love affair between the goatherd Daphnis and the shepherdess Chloe.

“I’ve always had a predilection for the footsteps of two, these unreal sequences where nothing matters to the dancers outside what they live at this moment. These are moments of naked truth. “(J-CH Maillot). From Romeo and Juliet through Cinderella, LAC or more recently Taming the Shrew, the pas de deux is intimately linked to the repertoire of Jean-Christophe Maillot. Daphnis and Chloe give us one of the most beautiful examples.

  • Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot
  • Music: Maurice Ravel
  • Scenography and drawings: Ernest Pignon-Ernest
  • Costumes: Jérôme Kaplan
  • Lights: Dominique Drillot
  • Video: Ernest Pignon-Ernest and Matthieu Stefani
  • Ballet traced back by Bernice Coppieters
  • Duration: 31 min
  • First on April 1, 2010, Grimaldi Forum Monaco

The Spirit of the Rose

The Spirit of the Rose is a short ballet about a young girl who dreams of dancing with the spirit of a souvenir rose from her first ball.

If in the version of Fokine, the female role of The Spirit of the Rose was summed up to that of a sleeping beauty, that of Marco Goecke makes it a central element. Just like her male partner, and the six friendly specters, the dancer embodies with the same energy, the powerful and instantly recognizable style of the German choreographer.

  • Choreography: Marco Goecke
  • Music: Karl Maria von Weber
  • Scenography: Marco Goecke
  • Dramatic Advisor: Nadja Kadel
  • Costumes: Michaela Springer
  • Lights: Udo Haberland
  • Duration: 24 min
  • Ballet traced back by Giovanni Di Palma
  • Premiere on July 14, 2009, Terraces of the Casino de Monte-Carlo

Am I in love with a dream?

The curtains open and on the stage there is a mysterious mist, where a sleepwalker meets a metaphysical hybrid creature. An unreal encounter where provocative eroticism and interrogations about sexual identity blend forcefully and beautifully.  This is a truly exhilarating piece that moves you and seduces you from beginning to end.

Jeroen Verbruggen purposefully gave his piece a different title from the countless other tributes to Afternoon of a Faun, by choosing one of the first lines from Mallarme’s famous poem, Aimai-je un reve?  (Am I in love with a dream?) Verbruggen created roles that could be played by women and men interchangeably, an original take on the concept of a single gender.  The nymphs have disappeared and the piece offers a vague universe that contrasts with the sharpness of the bas-reliefs that inspired Nijinsky’s legendary ballet.

  • Choreography: Jeroen Verbruggen
  • Music: Claude Debussy
  • Costumes: Charlie Le Mindu
  • Lights: Fabiana Piccioli
  • Duration: 12 min
  • Premiere December 8, 2018, Salle Garnier Opera Monte-Carlo
  • Lagerford, Winterthur and other eccentric tailors

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The ballet tells the story of the loves and jealousies of three puppets that Inger turned into mannequins. While Fokine chose the setting for a village feast to situate Petrouchka’s action, Johan Inger turned to the world of haute couture in order to give his ballet an exuberant yet squeaky dimension.

In the end, the destinies of the the manipulated puppets and the unfortunate mannequins seem to interlace.

  • Choreography: Johan Inger
  • According to Michel Fokine, Alexandre Benois
  • Music: Igor Stravinsky
  • Dramaturgy: Gregor Acuña Pohl
  • Sets: Curt Allen Wilmer with estudiodeDos
  • Costumes: Salvador Mateu Andujar
  • Lights: Fabiana Piccioli
  • Duration: 36 min
  • Premiere December 8, 2018, Salle Garnier Opera Monte-Carlo

Today’s Quotes

“People like eccentrics. Therefore they will leave me alone, saying that I am a mad clown.” Vaslav Nijinsky, The Diary of Vaslav Nijinsky

“Now I will dance you the war… The war which you did not prevent.” Vaslav Nijinsky


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