Few would contest that Monaco is a Principality with many jewels in its crown. Clearly, many residents continue to be attracted by factors such as the exceptional property in Monaco, its climate and high class facilities. However, the Principality also has a wider cultural appeal with an excellent range of museums, galleries and events on offer.
Ballet is just one of the art-forms that has enjoyed immense popularity and success in Monaco. Monaco’s royal family have always shown a great appreciation for the arts and ballet has been no exception. In 1985, Princess Caroline established ‘Les ballets de Monte-Carlo’, an official classical ballet company for Monaco. It is both Princess Caroline and another exceptional individual who can be credited with bringing Monaco ballet to the forefront in recent years.
In 1992, Jean-Christophe Maillot was asked by Princess Caroline to joined the ballets de Monte-Carlo as artistic consultant. The talented choreographer and director already had some 20 productions under his belt from his time at the ‘Ballet du Grand Théâtre’ in Tours, however locals greeted his appointment with some scepticism. Determined to create outstanding ballet in Monaco, Maillot soon silenced his critics and just a year later was officially promoted to the rank of artistic director.
As ballet gained prominence in the principality, Maillot was responsible for the company’s move into its own dance centre in 1997. He soon became renowned for his great narrative pieces, his self-expression and his musical sensibility. In December 2000, came a truly pivotal moment for ballet in Monaco; the season was inaugurated on the huge stage of the Salle des Princes at the newly built Grimaldi Forum thrusting the company into the limelight.
Maillot has created just under 30 ballets in his time at Les ballet de Monte-Carlo including Romeo and Juliet (1996), Cinderella (1999) and LAC (2011), establishing a reputation of excellence across the globe. His latest offering from the company is the Casse-Noisette Compagnie or ‘Nutcracker Suite’, a revisitation of the traditional Nutcracker. This new production marks Maillots 20th anniversary with the company and is based on the people and events of his last 20 years in Monaco. The ballet features a traditional score from Tchaikovsky with the orchestra conducted by Nicolas Brochot. There will be daily performances from 26th December 2013 to 4th January 2014.
In addition to the shows performed in Monaco each year, the company also undertakes a busy touring schedule. This year their schedule includes Barcelona in February and the USA in March with La Belle, and London in April with Lac.
The overwhelming verdict is that Princess Caroline’s unwavering commitment to the arts and Maillot’s work for the ballet to Monte-Carlo have made a substantial contribution to Monaco’s cultural offering. It seems that those making the decision to purchase a Monaco apartment and reside in the Principality long-term, will be justly rewarded by a truly exceptional program of annual performances.