The Princess Grace Academy of Dance in Monaco is a veritable hive of activity, as the students prepare for their upcoming end of year gala.
The annual gala, which takes place on 18th and 19th June, is an important event in the training programme of these young dancers – the culmination of their studies over the past year, and an opportunity to demonstrate their prowess as they aspire to establishing themselves as artists on the international stage. This year’s presentation is special for another reason, too – for the first time, the dancers will be accompanied by the Monte-Carlo International Youth Orchestra, led by Alessandro Crudele, regarded as one of the most outstanding and versatile young conductors to emerge from Italy in recent years.
Each year, the gala becomes more professional, and the standard of dancing even higher, reflecting the growing importance of the Academy, under the supervision of Artistic Director, Luca Masala, and his staff. The Academy, he says, is “not only a place of learning, but also a school of life”, guiding its dancers “through hard work, discipline and passion to their highest dreams”.
In this presentation, the dancers will present a programme of both classical and contemporary dance. ORISE has been choreographed by Michel Rahn, who – since 2011 – has held the position of Director and Assistant Teacher of dance at the Academy. A former principal dancer with companies such as Nederlands Dans Theater, the Grand Geneva Ballet and the Royal Ballet of Flanders, Michel Rahn has been teaching since 1976, and made his debut as a choreographer in 1981. He has created some 30 classical and contemporary works to date.
George Balanchine choreographed his DONIZETTI VARIATIONS for New York City Ballet in 1960, part of a programme entitled Salute to Italy, celebrating the 100th anniversary of that country’s unification. Gaetano Donizetti, a leading composer of opera in the bel canto style, was known for his melodic and lyrical works, and because the other ballets on the Salute to Italy programme were of a somewhat sombre nature, Balanchine felt he needed a “cheerful and sunny work” as a balance, and set these variations to excerpts from the opera Don Sebastian. (George Balanchine Trust)
COMUNIC/ACTIONS is a work by Eugenio Buratti, a classical ballet and contemporary modern dance master, whose career as a dancer included the role of Tazio opposite Rudolf Nureyev as von Aschenbach in Morte a Venezia (Death in Venice), directed by Fleming Flindt at Teatro Filarmonico Ente Arena in Verona. Eugenio Buratti is Repertory Dance Master and choreographer for Balletto di Toscana.
The final work is a premiere performance of SOMNIA VERTIGO, choreographed by Julien Guérin – a dancer at Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Performed to music from Beethoven’s Symphony No 5, it’s an elegant and stylish piece with just a hint of Balanchine about it, as can be seen in the first 48 seconds of this video clip:
The Gala of the Princess Grace Academy takes place in the Salle Garnier of the Monte-Carlo Opera on 18th and 19th June. Reservations can be made at the Atrium of the Monte-Carlo Casino from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.00 am to 5.00 pm, or by telephone on 00377 98 06 28 28
Casino de Monte-Carlo
Place du Casino
MC 98000 Monaco
All photographs © Alice Blangero