Monday, 10 October 2016
World Ballet Day: Les Ballets de Monte Carlo
Standard YouTube Licence
Yet another highlight of World Ballet Day was the appearance of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo as guests of the Bolshoi. The reason it was one of my highlights is that I am a big fan of the company's artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot (see Jean-Christophe Maillot 5 Aug 2016). His production of The Taming of the Shrew for the Bolshoi nearly brought the House down when that company performed it on 3 Aug 2016 (see Bolshoi's Triumph - The Taming of the Shrew 4 Aug 2016). There is a great video of the the premiere on the Bolshoi's website.
On World Ballet Day the video showed rehearsals for a new ballet called Le Songe which was premiered yesterday at the China National Centre for the Performing Arts. The company will move on to Tianjin and Shanghai. The first performances in Europe will take place at the Théâtre National de Nice on 21 and 22 Jan 2017. This ballet is based on Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and uses Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream as Ashton.
There is an opportunity to see another of Maillot's works at the Alhambra in Bradford between tomorrow and Saturday when Northern Ballet dance his Romeo and Juliet. I saw it twice in Leeds last year and reviewed it in Northern Ballet's Romeo and Juliet - different but in a good way 8 March 2015 and Leebolt's Juliet 13 March 2015. You can see a rehearsal for that ballet by Abigail Prudames and Sean Bates in Northern Ballet's slot on the Royal Ballet's YouTube video of World Ballet Day. You will find them 2 hours 17:28 minutes into the film.
One of the ways in which maillot's Romeo and Juliet differed from other productions is the enhanced role he gave to Friar Lawrence and, as you can see from the first of those reviews, that role was danced very impressively by Isaac Lee Baker, Isaac has now joined Les Ballets de Monte Carlo (see his profile on the company's website) and I think I glimpsed him in the rehearsals for Le Songe, He is certainly on the Royal Ballet's video (1 hour 52 minutes) in its Chance to Dance slot. Sadly, we won't get to see Isaac as Friar Lawrence. Northern has not yet announced its cast list for Bradford but we should get someone good judging by the chaps who danced it in Sheffield, Belfast, Woking and Canterbury.