Jump to content

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo Live in Cinema

Recommended Posts

Casse Noisette Compagnie  - Jean-Christophe Maillot’s version of the Nutcracker will be shown in a small number of cinemas in Europe, including the UK and Ireland, on December 30, 2015. Olga Smirnova and Artem Ovcharenko are guesting.


Further details here: http://balletsdemontecarlo.com/cinema/


This is a link to a video of him rehearsing the Grand Pas de Deux with Olga Smirnova and Artem Ovcharenko - http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3j0uuu_extrait-de-casse-noisette-compagnie-avec-jean-christophe-maillot-olga-smirnova-et-artem-ovcharenko-r_creation

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Did anyone else see this?


I wouldn't be surprised if not.  I was in the one central London cinema showing it and it had all of ten people present.  (Well, eleven including myself.) 


I enjoyed the presentation for a variety of reasons; (i) as usual the Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo Company is made up of very fine dancers; (ii) the production did everything it set out to tick/explore as established in its very clear but relaxed introduction by Maillot himself and Princess Stephanie, i.e., that this was to be a celebration of the Company's own history - including the inspiring asset of the Grimaldi largess - in an important anniversary year for the Company; (iii) that the production was often ripe with Maillot's own brand of wit - continuously exploring different avenues through both the music and the language of ballet itself; (iv) that the Academie students in the Balanchine homage showed themselves in large part exquisite thereby boding well for the Company's own future; (v) that it gave another opportunity to thrill at young Artem Ovcharenko's dazzling skill both in his wonderful partnering of a here sometimes tentative Smirnova - happily returned after a long period out - and his breathtaking solo - [AS AN ASIDE: They simply can't leave this young man at home during the London Bolshoi tour at the ROH this summer now that he's played Nureyev in a BBC documentary -- Can they?  Sadly he's not listed as one of the performing principals ... and he is, of course - unlike Smirnova - a Bolshoi etoile] - and (vi) and ABOVE ALL that - from a purely cinematic perspective - this was I think the FINEST balletic relay I have ever seen.  Everything was handled with such EXQUISITE taste from the establishing shots of Monte-Carlo at Christmas which began a quarter hour before it was to begin; the presentation's precise time-keeping - with no drawn out interval; the use of a wise host at the opening ONLY who unobtrusively - and in the lightest of terms - guided the initial conversation; that they cared to employ truly BEAUTIFUL cinematography [no unfocused images through unexpected speed here] wrought by someone who obviously understood dance at its very heart, (e.g., no close-ups in sections where the stage was filled with movement; no cutting off of legs at inappropriate times; a wide range of refreshing full and above stage shots, that everything was aptly lit in the filmed presentation, etc.); my own personal joy was additionally harboured in the fact that there were no active commercials included in the presentation of ANY kind - acknowledging I suppose that the few people who actually attended in London had paid fares increased from the usual UK cinema standard.  The French employed in the two included features was always clear and exquisitely precise and certainly required no translation - [ANOTHER ASIDE: and how wonderful it was to see the very chic Princess Stephanie maintain the standard of her own mother's always refined wit].  Indeed that the language itself was respected [something the French are always good at] and that it was not - no matter how well it may be achieved - vocally translated into English - (much as the English in the RB presentations is not translated into either French or Russian) - thereby reducing the possibilities for more active show.  FINALLY - I was elated by the extraordinary asset of the EXTENDED live relay of the Company on the stage immediately after the curtain call and certainly throughout the long credits listing.  It gave a reason to stay.  We now knew these dancers so we had a personal investment in their joy.  It was so, SO lovely to witness their relaxed intercourse as much as their obvious excitement in being OH, SO WELL filmed.  Instinctively I felt that this filming team were here every bit as much a part of this Company's family as the dancers and production staff themselves.  Truly this was Impressive on so, so many cinematic scores.   

Edited by Bruce Wall
  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We were two of seven in the smallish studio cinema in Poole - and like Bruce we thoroughly enjoyed the show.


A couple of caveats - there was an overuse of the upstaging and pushing aside in Act 1, which was as funny as it was unexpected initially, but as a repeated gambit became, to me, slightly irritating; the actual camera work was very different to that we are used to from the Bolshoi and from our own Mr McGibbon and I'm not sure I am as enthusiastic about it as is Bruce, for I felt that there were some very close facial close-ups which were unnatural in the context of a viewing of (at least) a whole body in motion, and the "from above" shots, sudden as they were, had the effect of foreshortening the dancers whom we had just seen from stage level, until the brain sorted out the different perspective.....


But there was some splendid choreography, some fine acting and humour, and some nice staging ( the upstage row of changing rooms was very effective).  Stephan Bourgand stood out amongst the terrific "home" dancers and Ovcharenko and Smirnov were the icing on the cake.... 


We have emailed the Empire Cinema chain to say thank you for this screening and to urge them to advertise more widely to reach an audience which is undoubtedly there!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aileen, the short answer is not really ....!


Have a look at this : http://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/synopsis/casse-noisette_compagnie_live_2015/f4817/


It was a very ingenious plot, with a female Drosselmeyer-type figure referencing Princess Stephanie, whose company this very much is, who enables and facilitates (Ugh) all sorts of goings-on which in turn reference Maillot's own history with the company - highlights from several of his previous productions (La Belle ... Le songs ... etc) - with a hyper-active Nutcracker-type figure as the choreographer. Oh, and Clara is a circus girl, in whose dreams the circus becomes a ballet troupe run by her parents ....


I know this all sounds bonkers, but it actually made a lot of sense on several levels as a stand-alone ballet!


Hope that helps. Ok, I know it doesn't! 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I emailed the company and they sent me a cast list and synopsis.  It's a PDF file. If anybody wants a copy, just PM me with your email address and I will forward it on. Alternatively perhaps I could send it to one of the moderators and they could upload it here if that is permitted?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks, Ambros1a. Unless there is a copyright restriction on the document there shouldn't be any problem with us uploading it, acknowledging that it is with kind permission of the company or some such thing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aileen, the short answer is not really ....!


Have a look at this : http://www.empirecinemas.co.uk/synopsis/casse-noisette_compagnie_live_2015/f4817/


It was a very ingenious plot, with a female Drosselmeyer-type figure referencing Princess Stephanie, whose company this very much is, who enables and facilitates (Ugh) all sorts of goings-on which in turn reference Maillot's own history with the company - highlights from several of his previous productions (La Belle ... Le songs ... etc) - with a hyper-active Nutcracker-type figure as the choreographer. Oh, and Clara is a circus girl, in whose dreams the circus becomes a ballet troupe run by her parents ....



I know this all sounds bonkers, but it actually made a lot of sense on several levels as a stand-alone ballet!


Hope that helps. Ok, I know it doesn't!

Gosh....that plot sounds about as comprehensible as the New Year's Day episode of Sherlock!! :)

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Ambros1a very kindly sent me a PDF of the programme for BMC's Casse Noisette.  As PDFs can't be uploaded here, I have copied and pasted all the info on the programme below. 


I must say the synopsis doesn't leave me any the wiser.....  :)





Ballet in two acts, live from the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco, December 30th, 2015

Music: Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski
Stage design: Alain Lagarde
Costume: Philippe Guillotel
And with the complicity, over the years, of:
Jérôme Kaplan, Karl Lagerfeld, Ernest Pignon-Ernest, Jean-Michel Laine...
Lighting: Dominique Drillot
Additional music: Bertrand Maillot
Dramaturgy adviser : Jean Rouaud
La Compagnie des Ballets de Monte-Carlo
et les élèves de l’Académie Princesse Grace
With the participation of:
Olga Smirnova, Première Soliste & Artem Ovcharenko, Etoile du Théâtre Bolchoï
Music interpreted by the Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo
Direction : Nicolas Brochot
Line producer: Telmondis
Coproduction: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Film maker: Vincent Massip




Casse-Noisette Compagnie explores Clara’s dreams as they come to life through the power of dance, in a reflection of Jean-Christophe Maillot’s own personal experience. The Choreographer-Director of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo moved to the Principality of Monaco in 1993, where he created a world in which anything is possible, and where dance allows for the most ambitious of challenges to be taken on.
His ballet transposes the story of the Nutcracker in a classical dance company universe. Those who remember Ernst T. Hoffmann’s Tale will recognize the parallel that Jean-Christophe Maillot draws between traditional narrative and the history of this company. Before our eyes, using a Christmas tale background, it is actually the genesis and evolution of the Monte Carlo Ballet that is presented.
No one is missing: the Stahlbaum family is still there with Clara (and her dollhouse), Fritz (and his tantrums) and their parents. But, here, the German house has become the studio of a ballet company run by the parents and Clara and Fritz’s home. In the original story, Uncle Drosselmeyer, invited for Christmas Eve, offers Clara a nutcracker. Here, the uncle becomes the Fairy Drosselmeyer who brings the Company and its dancers a most unexpected gift: a new choreographer! This leads to contests and combats, which give rise to more or less serious quarrels, each an evocation of the battle of toys.
Obviously, there is also the appearance of the Prince, the fantastic winter journey amid snowflakes and the arrival in the magic land of Confiturembourg (the Land of Sweets) with a series of festivities. But, there again, all these elements are revisited through the ballet company’s productions. And what supreme delicacies could the Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s choreographer and his dancers have devised? Conceiving and performing ballets like Cinderella, La Belle, Le Songe, Romeo and Juliet, etc.
The son of a painter who worked on many a stage backdrop, Jean-Christophe Maillot grew up amongst canvases, frames, ropes and pulleys. From a very young age, he was aware that fictional characters could cross over into reality, as is Casse-Noisette Compagnie’s Clara. Like his protagonist, Jean-Christophe Maillot met a powerful sorceress upon his arrival in Monaco: his encounter with H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover allowed him to create almost forty different ballets and breathe life into hundreds of different roles for the company. Casse-noisette Compagnie is the story of this waking dream. The iconic characters created by Jean-Christophe Maillot over the course of his career are woven throughout a ballet in which the stage design is packed full of hidden tricks and secrets that lift the veil surrounding the choreographer, shining the spotlight onto his dearest friends and most formidable demons.




Act I


The father: Alvaro Prieto
The mother: Mimoza Koike
Clara, their daughter: Anjara Ballesteros
Fritz, their son: Lucien Postlewaite
The fairy Drosselmeyer: Marianna Barabás
The guardian angels: George Oliveira, Alexis Oliveira
The Nutcracker: Stephan Bourgond
Charmant, Clara’s friend: Christian Tworzyanski
Zoé, Fritz’s friend: Victoria Ananyan
Albrecht, Ballet Star: Gabriele Corrado
Giselle, Ballet Star: Liisa Hämäläinen
Dancers : Anne-Laure Seillan - Gaëlle Riou - Anja Behrend - Maude Sabourin
Alessandra Tognoloni - Sivan Blitzova - Sarah Clark
Anna Blackwell - Kaori Tajima - Tiffany Pacheco – Frances Murphy - Candela Ebbesen
Julien Guérin - Daniele Delvecchio - Aurélien Alberge - Leart Duraku
Edgar Castillo - Michael Grünecker - Asier Edeso - Lucas Threefoot - Le Wang
Mikio Kato - Koen Havenith – Stefano de Angelis
Students of Académie Princesse Grace : Ivana Bueno Garces - Marina Duarte
Youngseo Ko - Amanda Lana - Shuai Li - Mei Nagahisa - Minji Nam
Michelle Pinelis - Lisa Van Cauwenbergh
Luca Afflitto - Iacopo Arregui T. Saltini - Michael Kinley-Safronoff - Wictor Hugo Pedroso Silva - Giovanni Tombacco - Shale Wagman


Act II


The Fairy Drosselmeyer: Marianna Barabás
The pleasure Superintendents: George Oliveira - Alexis Oliveira
The Nutcracker: Stephan Bourgond
The father: Alvaro Prieto
The stepmother: Mimoza Koike
Cinderella: Anjara Ballesteros
Cinderella’s sisters: Gaëlle Riou – Anne-Laure Seillan


Beauty: Olga Smirnova
The Lilas fairy: Anna Blackwell
The three fairies: Alessandra Tognoloni – Tiffany Pacheco – Candela Ebbesen
The three princes: Gabriele Corrado - Lucien Postlewaite – Christian Tworzyanski
Carabosse : Maude Sabourin
The «pétulants» : Anne-Laure Seillan – Sivan Blitzova – Frances Murphy
Kaori Tajima - Julien Guérin - Le Wang - Asier Edeso – Koen Havenith


Puck : Stephan Bourgond
Titania : Marianna Barabás
Fairies: Anne-Laure Seillan - Gaëlle Riou - Anna Blackwell - Sivan Blitzova - Sarah Clark Alessandra Tognoloni – Frances Murphy – Candela Ebbesen - Tiffany Pacheco


The puppeteers:
Romeo: Gaëtan Morlotti - Juliette: Asier Edeso - Tybalt: Bruno Roque
Mercutio: Leart Duraku - Friar Laurence: Aurélien Alberge


Olga Smirnova - George Oliveira - Alexis Oliveira - Marianna Barabás
Alvaro Prieto - Mimoza Koike - Gabriele Corrado - Liisa Hämäläinen
Lucien Postlewaite - Victoria Ananyan


Romeo: Artem Ovcharenko
Beauty: Olga Smirnova


The company

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...