The Summer Dances with passion in Monte-Carlo

Maillot-Kylian-Ek, celebrated choreographers trilogy

The exciting crescendo of this new edition of “L’Été Danse!” is definitely the «3 Choreographers» evening proposing an acclaimed cast, from July 14-17, 2022, in the Salle des Princes of the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The program reflects the all-sharing spirit that has been a driving force for Jean-Christophe Maillot during three decades, starting back in 1993 when Princess Caroline appointed him as Choreographer-Director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

The truth is, Jean-Christophe relishes in inviting other choreographers, to benefit from the accumulated talent represented by his company of 50 top international accomplished dancers, who transform any composition into a masterpiece! Through the years several of these celebrated creators have become faithful friends, such as Jirí Kylián and Mats Ek. In turn, the Ballets of Monte-Carlo are among the best performers of their repertoire.

Photo credits: Alice Blangero

“CLAUDE PASCAL” by Jiri KYLIAN

Claude Pascal is a melodramatic retrospection about the passing of time, as we currently perceive it, its celerity, and the concept of aging. The artist questions where we come from, and what we are here for. In my subjective opinion he could be making a reference to Quantum theory where past, present and future coexist.

The cast of dancers is clearly divided into two distinct units, who imaginarily meet in a labyrinth of mirrored walls. One group represents a weird family dressed in period costumes circa 1890, the other a modern day cluster. Kylian explains further: « I use Puccini as a historical reference. They have nothing to do with the other group of dancers, wearing contemporary costumes and dancing to today’s music. Claude Pascal is a tragicomic encounter between the past and the present – only to make us realize that in the future we also will become the past.»

Choreography: Jiří Kylián; Music: Dirk Haubrich, new composition (2002): Concept decor: Jiří Kylián: Costumes: Joke Visser; Lighting: Kees Tjebbes; World Premiere held on May 29,2002, Lucent Danstheater, Den Haag; Durstion: 30min

“CASI CASA” – Mats EK

Created in 2009, the piece replicates one of the famous Swedish choreographer’s masterpieces, « Appartement », first performed in 2000, which included snatches from “Fluke”, produced two years later.

In an insane asylum’s tense atmosphere, dancers move in a setting made of everyday objects, perform a shattering social fresco. Both pungent and highly poetic, Casi-Casa represents a rather extreme grand flash of humanity. I totally agree with the artist, who wisely proposes to become the observer, instead of joining in the drama constantly unraveling in our complicated world. Better to focus on the simplicity of our daily lives, who seem banal but are more important.

I adored the music by Fleshquartet that made me dance on my seat! Despite the band’s name, Fläskkvartetten is in reality a quintet consisting of an electrical string quartet plus a percussionist. The band often collaborates with vocalists who comprise a veritable Who’s Who of Swedish alternative music. The musical style ranges from classical string music to experimental rock.

Choreography: Mats Ek; Music: Fleshquartet; Costumes & scenography: Peder Freiij; Lighting: Erik Berglund; Premiere held on December 4, 2009, Théâtre Garcia Lorca, La Havanne; Duration: 40min

George Oliveira, from dancer to ballet staging & teaching

During the curtain call of Casi Casa, Jean-Christophe Maillot came onto the stage to honor George Oliveira who was retiring as a dancer for the Company. For his next chapter, George will be staging Jean-Christophe Maillot ballet’s all around the world. At the same time he will join the teaching staff of the prestigious Princesses Grace Academy of Monaco. Bravo George!

George Oliveira honored by Jean-Christophe Maillot – Video clip by Celina Lafuente de Lavotha

“BACK ON TRACK 61”- Jean-Christophe MAILLOT

Musicality occupies center stage in Jean- Christophe Maillot’s work. Among the works which developed his musical sensibility, Ravel’s Concerto in G has been dormant in him for years and represents the choreographer’s personal Everest. At 61 years of age Jean-Christophe Maillot has decided to climb it, honoring his father who introduced it to him when he was a child.

Maillot almost obsessive liaison with the passing of time and his ceaseless need to create are pivotal in “Back on Track 61”. As part of his deep introspection, Maillot reveals the card up his sleeve by bringing back onto the stage two iconic dancers of the Company, now Ballet Masters, the one-and-only Bernice Coppieters and Asier Uriagereka. The two celebrated dancers succeed to convey mastery and passion with their own particular interpretation, tailored by years of collaboration. To watch them perform was the icing on the cake! Bravo!

Choreography: Jean-Christophe Maillot; Music: Maurice Ravel, Concerto in G Major (performed by Martha Argerich); Scenography and Lighting: Jean Christophe Maillot & Samuel Théry; Costumes: Jean-Michel Lainé; Premiere held on October 29, 2021, Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Duration: 22 min

Today’s Quote

Always the question for dancers is: Can we fly? Jean-Christophe Maillot

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