Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is among the Principality’s most prestigious
There is a historic tradition of classical dance in Monaco, first inspired by
the drive and passion of the genius impresario, Serge de Diaghilev.
Today, this art form in all its fleeting beauty is magnificently represented by
the new Ballets de Monte-Carlo, which includes the Ballet Company itself, the
Monaco Dance Forum Festival, and the Princess Grace Academy under the direction
of Jean-Christophe Maillot
Les Ballets: the early days
The beginnings of classical dance in Monaco: Les Ballets Russes
Monaco’s love affair with the choreographical arts began in 1909. After presenting his Ballets Russe in Paris
for the first time, Serge de Diaghilev brought his company to Monte-Carlo,
where they established their creative workshop. Over the next two decades, Diaghilev
and his associates reshaped every facet of ballet. The company was disbanded on
his death in 1929. It was later revived under different names by various
personalities and choreographers, but eventually disappeared for good in 1951.
The creation of the current
Ballets de Monte-Carlo
In 1985, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo company was founded at the behest of
H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, who was keen to revive the classical dance
tradition in Monaco. The new company was led by Ghislaine Thesmar and Pierre
Lacotte, and later by Jean-Yves Esquerre.
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
goes from strength to strength
In 1993, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover appointed Jean-Christophe
Maillot as the new director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, . Drawing on his
dancing experience with Rosella Hightower and John Neumeier, and choreographer
and director of the French National Choreography Centre in Tours,
Jean-Christophe Maillot set the company on a new path. He created more than 30
ballets, several of which have since become part of the repertoire of leading
international companies. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo are now invited to perform
all over the world, treating international audiences to Jean-Christophe
Maillot’s iconic ballets such as Vers un pays sage (1995), Roméo et Juliette
(1996), Cendrillon (1999) La Belle (2001), Le Songe (2005), Altro Canto (2006),
Faust (2007), and LAC (2011).
Jean-Christophe Maillot also added to the company’s repertoire by
inviting not only leading contemporary choreographers but also emerging talents
to work with Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and its troupe of 50 exceptional
dancers. Guest choreographers have included notable figures such as Sidi Larbi
Cherkaoui, Shen Wei, Alonzo King, Emio Greco, Chris Haring, Marco Goecke,
Lucinda Childs, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Karole Armitage, Maurice Béjart,
and Marie Chouinard.
In 2000, Jean-Christophe Maillot created the Monaco Dance Forum, an
international showcase of dance in all its forms, featuring an eclectic array
of performances, exhibitions, workshops, and talks. The company regularly takes
part in the festival, along with the Princess Grace Academy.
The future of Les Ballets
In 2011, under its President H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, a new
organisation was formed, bringing together all three institutions under the
direction of Jean-Christophe Maillot. Today, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo boasts
the excellence of an elite international ballet company, a successful
multi-format dance festival, and the potential of a top-class academy. Every
aspect of dance is concentrated here in Monaco, from creation, to training, to
performance, in a unique structure devoted to the promotion of the
The 2023-2024 programme
After 30 years of world tours, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is set to
travel once more this season, heading for every corner of the globe and
visiting France, Thailand, South Korea, Switzerland, Italy, the United States,
Hungary, Poland, Germany, and Spain.
Four ballets have been chosen for performances this season: LAC , Roméo et
Juliette, Cendrillon, and Coppél-I.A by Jean-Christophe Maillot.
Dates of performances in Monaco can be found HERE.
© Benjamin Vergély /Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo