The other major events of the year

  • Monte-Carlo Summer Festival
    July 2024
  • Summer Exhibition - Grimaldi Forum Monaco
    July 2024
  • The Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra - Concerts at the Prince's Palace of Monaco
    July 2024
  • Monaco Yacht Show
    September 2024
  • Festival International du Cirque de Monte-Carlo
    January 2025
  • Monaco E-Prix
    May 2025

The Ballets de Monte-Carlo

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is among the Principality’s most prestigious artistic treasures.
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 de Monte-Carlo
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 choreographic art.

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.

Photo credits: © Benjamin Vergély /Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo