Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Roméo et Juliette

Visually powerful!” Yorkshire Post

“Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo has something startling and fine to show us in this swift and sleek dance treatment of the eternal story of Romeo and Juliet.” The New York Times

NEW ORLEANS, LAThe New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA) is thrilled to present for the first time in more than a decade the internationally renowned Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in the spectacular, full-evening Roméo et Juliette on Saturday, February 24 at 8 pm at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Shakespeare’s tale of the famous star-crossed lovers gets an exotic French twist in this “gorgeously original” (The London Telegraph), stunningly imaginative interpretation by renowned choreographer and director Jean-Christophe Maillot. Flawlessly performed with impeccable artistry by an exquisite company of 50 dancers and set to the romantic Prokofiev score, this innovative, black and white staging of Roméo et Juliette is “a piece of flawless beauty,” raves Le Nouvel Observateur and is a must-see event for ballet enthusiasts and new audiences. Since its premiere in 1996, the production has been presented more than 260 times worldwide and interpreted by seven international ballet companies. New Orleans is the first stop of three on the company’s North American tour. Roméo et Juliette is an official event of the New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration. A pre-performance talk with Artistic Director Jean-Christophe Maillot will take place at 7:15 pm on Mezzanine Level M2 of the theater.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is a premium special event sponsored by the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Tickets begin at $40 and may be purchased through the New Orleans Ballet Association Box Office at (504) 522-0996, online at www.nobadance.com or through Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000 or www.ticketmaster.com. Discounts are available for students, seniors, and groups.

Jean-Christophe Maillot’s Roméo et Juliette (1996)

Based on the assumption that everyone is familiar with Romeo and Juliet, Jean-Christophe Maillot took a choreographic approach that avoids paraphrasing Shakespeare's literary masterpiece that speaks for itself. Rather than retrace the rift between the Capulets and Montagues to its tragic denouement, Maillot rewrites the play from an original perspective. The ballet plunges us into the depths of Friar Laurence's soul, a man whose good intentions ultimately provoke the demise of the two lovers. Roméo et Juliette is told through the flashbacks experienced by this distraught man of the cloth as he reflects on just how this tragic end came to be. This founding concept offers substantial insight into the choreographer's sensitivity, interpreting Roméo et Juliette not as a social conflict or clan warfare governed by a strict code of honor, but to the contrary, as a tale of accidental tragedy that leads to the death of two young people more concerned with the path of love than that of hatred.

Hailed by the Yorkshire Post as “visually powerful,” the striking, two-act production features stunning décor and sets of moving transparent white panels by Ernest Pignon-Ernest and gorgeous costumes by Jérôme Kaplan, dressing the Montagues in shades of white and the Capulets in shades of black that evoke both the Italian Renaissance and a sleek, contemporary elegance.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo In the Community

From February 19-22, LBMC principal dancer Christian Tworzyanski will teach ballet technique and repertory classes to the students of NOBA’s Center for Dance.

BRAVO Gala 2018: Une Affaire d’Avant Garde: En Blanc et Noir

BRAVO, the Ballet Resource and Volunteer Organization of the New Orleans Ballet Association (NOBA), and Honorary Chair Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser are excited to bring the annual gala to the Hyatt Regency New Orleans for a chic black-and-white masquerade ball on Friday, February 23. Une Affaire d’Avant Garde: En Blanc et Noir will revel in the artistry of Monte-Carlo’s 50-member national ballet company — Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo.

The full gala package also includes a ticket to the full Main Stage presentation of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s Roméo et Juliette at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on Saturday, February 24, with an intermission wine reception and a post-performance reception.

This year’s gala will recall Truman Capote’s grand Black and White Ball, as guests are invited to dress in black and white formalwear and masquerade in ode to Monte Carlo’s stark, contemporary staging of Roméo et Juliette. The night will include a patron party featuring cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at the Hyatt’s 8 Block Kitchen & Bar, a spectacular three-course menu of delicious French cuisine specially prepared by chefs directly from Monaco, entertainment by the Benchwarmers, a raffle, a champagne pull, a silent auction of select items, and more!

Through this event, BRAVO proudly contributes to NOBA's programs, including the presentation of world class performances in our city and over 5,500 dance classes, workshops, and activities each year — all tuition-free. Ticket packages to Une Affaire d’Avant Garde: En Blanc et Noir can be purchased by calling (504) 522-0996 x208, emailing bravo@nobadance.com or online at NOBAdance.com.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo

In 1985, the Monte-Carlo Ballet Company was born thanks to the want of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover. First under the leadership of Ghislaine Thesmar and Pierre Lacotte, and later by Jean-Yves Esquerre. In 1993, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover nominates Jean-Christophe Maillot as the head of the Monte-Carlo Ballets. Backed by experience as a dancer from Rosella Hightower and John Neumeier, and choreographer-director of the National Choreographic Centre of Tours, Maillot takes his turn in the company. He creates more than 30 ballets for her, including several which enter the repertoire of large international companies. The Monte-Carlo Ballets are now in demand throughout the world thanks to the iconic works of Maillot such as Vers un pays sage, Roméo et Juliette, La Belle and Faust, amongst others. He also enriches the company’s repertoire by inviting major choreographers of our time, but also enabling emerging choreographers to work with this exceptional tool — the 50 dancers of the Company. Among these guest choreographers are Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Shen Wei, Alonzo King, Lucinda Childs, William Forsythe, Jiri Kylian, Karole Armitage, Maurice Béjart, Marie Chouinard and more.

In 2000, Maillot created the Monaco Dance Forum, an international window to dance that presents an eclectic fusion of spectacles, exhibitions, workshops and conferences which the company regularly participates in and the Académie Princesse Grace. In 2011, under the presidency of H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo now incorporates the Company, the Monaco Dance Forum and the Princess Grace Academy under a single organization which mission is the excellence of an international company, the assets of a diverse festival and the potential for a school of a high level. Creation, training and production are currently reunited in Monaco to serve choreography in an unprecedented manner in the world of dance.

Romeo et Juliette is an emblematic Jean-Christophe Maillot ballet. To date, it has been presented more than 260 times worldwide and interpreted by seven international ballet companies.

Jean-Christophe Maillot Choreographer-Director

Born in 1960, Maillot studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire National de Région de Tours, before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes. In 1977, he won the Prix de Lausanne and was subsequently hired by John Neumeier at the Hamburg Ballet, where he danced in principal roles as a soloist for five years. An accident brought his dancing career to an abrupt end. In 1993, he was appointed Director-Choreographer of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo by H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover. His arrival at the Ballets de Monte-Carlo set the company on a new path that quickly developed the level of maturity and excellence for which this company of 50 dancers has been renowned for, for 20 years. He has created 80 ballets, including more than 40 for the company, some of which have forged the reputation of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo across the world. Several of these works are now included in the repertoires of major international ballet companies, such as the Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Royal Swedish Ballet, the Korean National Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre, amongst others. Maillot is known for his spirit of openness and his commitment to inviting choreographers with a different style to create for the company. In 2000, this same desire to present the choreographic art in all its many forms led him to create the Monaco Dance Forum. In 2014, he created the La Mégère Apprivoisée for the Ballet of Bolshoi Theatre.

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s performance of Roméo et Juliette is sponsored by the Hyatt Regency New Orleans. Roméo et Juliette is an official event of the New Orleans Tricentennial Celebration.

Editor’s note: High-res images and video of Roméo et Juliette are available for download here. Please credit all photos to Alice Blangero.

About the New Orleans Ballet Association:

NOBA is the Central Gulf region’s premier presenting and service organization dedicated solely to the art of dance.  NOBA’s dynamic Main Stage season annually features a diverse array of world-class companies and artists.  Each year NOBA provides concerts, classes, workshops and lectures to more than 33,000 area dance enthusiasts of all ages.  In addition, NOBA’s nationally recognized, award-winning education programs provide the youth of our community access to quality arts programs with over 5,500 free dance classes and workshops annually at ten sites throughout the Greater New Orleans area. 

NOBA is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA); a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council, and the NEA, a Federal agency; a Community Arts Grant made possible by the City of New Orleans and administered by the Arts Council New Orleans (ACNO); and a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered through ACNO.