The "Ballets de Monte-Carlo" and their brilliant stars
constitute one of the most prestigious artistic manifestations of the
In Monaco, the religion of dance is a long-standing tradition, born from the
passion of a choreographer of genius, Serge de Diaghilev. This beautiful and
ephemeral art is today admirably represented by the new Compagnie des Ballets
The Ballets: Its Beginnings
The anchor-point of dance in Monaco: The Ballets Russes
1909 marked the beginning of a strong presence of choreographic art in Monaco.
Serge de Diaghilev presented for the first time in Paris his Ballets Russes. They
set themselves up in Monte-Carlo which became their creative studio for two
decades. Diaghilev and his colleagues reformed the ballet of their day in all
its forms. At his death in 1929, the company was dissolved. Several
personalities and choreographers brought it back to life under a variety of
names, but it finally disappeared in 1951.
The Birth of the Current Compagnie des Ballets
In 1985, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo company came
into being thanks to the determination of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover who
wished to get involved in the tradition of dance in Monaco. The new company was
directed by Ghislaine Thesmar and Pierre Lacotte, then by Jean-Yves Esquerre.
The Company’s Growth
In 1993, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover appointed Jean-Christophe
Maillot as head of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo. With experience as a dancer acquired
with Rosella Hightower and John Neumeier, and as choreographer-director of the National
Choreographic Centre in Tours, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s appointment was a
turning-point for the company. He has created more than 30 ballets for it,
several of which have entered the repertoire of great international companies. The
Ballets de Monte-Carlo are now sought after in the whole world thanks to
Jean-Christophe Maillot’s iconic works 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).
In addition, Jean-Christophe Maillot has also enriched the company’s repertoire
by inviting major choreographers of our era, as well as by allowing emerging
choreographers to work with the exceptional tool that is the 50 dancers of the
Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Among these guest choreographers have figured in particular:
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 established the Monaco Dance Forum, an
international shop‑window for dance which presents an eclectic profusion of spectacles,
exhibitions, workshops and conferences. The company regularly takes part in
this festival as well as the Académie Princesse Grace.
The Future of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo
In 2011, under H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover’s presidency, a new
organisation, directed by Jean‑Christophe Maillot brought together these three
institutions: the Ballets de Monte-Carlo now focus on the excellence of an international
company, the assets of a multifaceted festival and the potential of a
high-level school. Creation, training and outreach are now united in Monaco at
the service of choreographic art in a way hitherto unseen in the dance world.
LA COMPAGNIE DES BALLETS DE MONTE-CARLO
Place du Casino MC 98000 Monaco
Tel: +377 98 06 28 55 - Fax: +377 98 06 28 59