The highlight of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo 2013-14 season will be Jean-Christophe Maillot’s new creation of ‘Casse-Noisette et Compagnie’.

The original production – known as ‘Casse-Noisette Circus’ – was presented beneath the canvas ceiling of the Chapiteau de Fontvieille in 2000 to celebrate the jubilee of HSH Prince Rainier III, who loved both the circus and dance.

This new creation – performed by the Company’s 50 dancers, and accompanied by the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra – echoes the original, but also reflects Maillot’s own story since his arrival in the Principality in 1993, now celebrating his 20th anniversary as Director and Choreographer of the Company this year. 

Like Clara – in the traditional story of ‘The Nutcracker’ – whose dreams magically come true, J-CH Maillot also had a dream – of creating an artistic world in Monaco.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Casse Noisette 2103

Jean-Christophe Maillot and Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo - Casse Noisette 2103

Like Clara, he too met a magician, in the person of HRH the Princess of Hanover, patron and key supporter of the choreographic art in Monaco, who enabled him to create over 30 ballets for the Ballets de Monte-Carlo. ‘Casse-Noisette et Compagnie’ relates this story, paying tribute to the Royal patron who made it possible.

The son of a painter who produced many theatre sets, Maillot learned from an early age how easily fictional characters could slide into reality – as did Clara – so the ballet features some of the fascinating people with whom he has come into contact during the past 20 years, reflecting his personal experiences, and symbolizing the unique link between himself, the public and the Principality of Monaco.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo perform a version of Casse Noisette 2103

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo perform Casse Noisette in December 2013

“‘Casse-Noisette Compagnie’ is a new choreography that puts the leading characters that I have created in Monaco on stage together,” he explains. “They have all come from my box of memories and are preparing to dance for you and say a huge thank you!”

Creating this new version of the ballet has, he says, been an emotional process. “I realise how rare it is for a choreographer to be able to explore the same subject several years on, with this time, HSH Prince Albert II at its first performance.

Casse-Noisette et Compagnie’, based on a theme by J-CH Maillot and Jean Rouaud, is set to Tchaikovsky’s much-loved score, and directed by Nicolas Brochot, with set design by Alain Lagarde and costumes by Philippe Guillotel.


It will be presented in the Salle des Princes in the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, from Thursday December 26th to Sunday January 5th. Tickets prices start at €19 and may be reserved online or by calling the Grimaldi Forum on +377 99 99 30 00. For further information please visit the Ballets de Monte-Carlo website.

Grimaldi Forum
10, ave. Princesse Grace
98000 Monaco

Tel: +377 99 99 20 00

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Gilly Lloyd is a journalist, copy and creative writer, and editor of Preview, as well as a regular contributor to the Arts section of

All photographs courtesy les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, © Alice Blangero


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