Taking a break from its touring schedule, Monte-Carlo Ballet returns home at the end of April to present three works by contemporary choreographers

The triple bill includes Within the Golden Hour by Christopher Wheeldon, Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Vers un pays sage (Towards a Land of Wisdom) and Autodance by Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar. Of these three ballets, only Vers un pays sage has been performed by the Company before – the other two are new to the repertoire.

Multi-award winning Christopher Wheeldon OBE is regarded as one of the most creative choreographers of his day. Currently Artistic Associate of The Royal Ballet – where he trained and for whom he danced – Wheeldon became New York City Ballet’s first Resident Choreographer in 2001, and has also created and staged ballets for major companies such as San Francisco, the Bolshoi, Mariinsky, Paris Opéra and Hamburg ballets. Among many other achievements, he has choreographed and directed musicals such as An American in Paris, Brigadoon and MJ The Musical, and staged his own interpretations of ballets such as Cinderella and The Nutcracker.

Within the Golden Hour, set to the music of Italian minimalist composer Ezio Bosso, and Antonio Vivaldi, is described by The Royal Opera House as “a shimmering ballet” which is “intimate and mesmerising”. A plotless ballet celebrating the joy of movement, it features seven couples separating and intermingling, referred to by the Guardian as “… a glowing masterpiece of surprise”.

Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Vers un pays sage is a tribute to his father, a painter, who died at an early age. Known as a passionate workaholic, Jean Maillot was responsible for the creation of more than 260 designs and costumes for the opera. Created in 1995, this ballet of rare physicality takes as its theme the energy which M Maillot devoted to his art, and life in general.

Set to what’s described as the “unbridled” music of John Adams, this work is intended to portray the ebullience with which the choreographer’s father approached his life and his work, but it also pays tribute to the joy of togetherness and solidarity. It ends in a spirit of calm, against the backdrop of a painting by Jean Maillot, which serves as a reminder of the elusive shades, blends and complementary hues which characterise his work. Dance Europe describes Vers un pays sage as a classic, “… an exhilarating celebration of life lived to the full …”

Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar are co-founders, co-Artistic Directors and Choreographers of the L-E-V Dance Company. Multi-award winning Eyal has danced with the Bathsheva Dance Company, served as its assistant Artistic Director and also as House Choreographer. As a party producer, Behal was an important name in the Tel Aviv nightlife scene, and also a curator of multidisciplinary art events. He joined Eyal in co-creating Bertolina in 2005 and they have worked together ever since.

L-E-V has collaborated with companies such as Sadlers Wells and Julidans Amsterdam, has also performed at The Joyce Theater in New York, and at the Jacob’s Pillow and Montpelier dance festivals. Commissions have come from companies such as Nederland Dans Theatre, StaatsBallet Berlin, Paris Opera and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.

This production of Autodance represents a new version of the ballet – originally created in 2018 – which takes into account the skills of a Company which has mastered work en pointe with Eyal’s repertoire. The ballet, set to a composition by Ori Lichtik, is Eyal’s second creation for GöteborgsOperans Danskompani, and integrates dance, techno and technique – at times explosive, at others sublime. Eyal says it has been “created from pure movement”.

Monte-Carlo Ballet performs works by Christopher Wheeldon, Jean-Christophe Maillot and Sharon Eyal/Gai Behar with the Monte Carlo Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Garrett Keast, known for his passion to create a cultural bridge between America and Europe. The five performances take place between 24th and 28th April at the Salle des Princes, Monaco Grimaldi Forum. Further information and tickets are available on the Monte-Carlo Ballet website.

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Lead image courtesy Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo


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