The Ballet de Monte Carlo gave the world première of "Lac", at the Grimaldi Forum, closing the year of 2011.
Jean Christophe Maillot, artistic director of the illustrious Ballet de Monte Carlo had taken the iconic 19th century ballet ‘Swan Lake’ set to the famous Tchaikovsky’s score, and proposed his own rendition in ‘Lac’, a highly dramatic, rather sinister affair with layers of new psychological insights, challenging the original libretto.
It was a particularly festive premier, not only for the presence of the company’s number one aficionado, princess Caroline, or the season decorations galore, but for the great company and the full philharmonic orchestra of Monte Carlo and its director Nicolas Brochot.
Maillot, had choreographed his own interpretations of some classics before, but touching the iconic, much loved ‘Swan Lake’ was a challenge, since it called for new, relevant interpretation, using more contemporary tools. The original ballet- as any good dance- is a byproduct of its time and clearly reflects social modes and perceptions and so should any later interpretation, in that case-‘Lac’.
Maillot cooperated with Goncourt prize laureate, Jean Rouaud, in developing the new scenario. It scraped the old story of its coating layer of innocence, gave up the escapist, almost abstract signature sections; the "white scenes" which portray the period’s aesthetics and yearn for pious purity. The center of mass shifted from the young lovers and handed to the wicked queen of the night. This magnificent diva of a woman, which ruled the new dramaturgy and certainly the stage, was portrayed by the company’s primary dancer Bernice Coppieters, whose dramatic powers are matched by her potent dancing skills. Under her spell, the flock of white swans, originally the support group of the beloved Odette, grew -so symbolically- gray feathers and disowned the poor swan.
Too much effort went to build rather detailed psychological profile of the weakly prince who outgrew a homosexual phase through love to a swan, since he wasn’t the basic issue. The comfort was found in the imaginative and sophisticated overall design elements and more so in the choreographic range within the neo-classical framework. Maillot has a terrific sense of space in handling large scenes and a keen eye for details such as the arms ballet in the trio of the domineering queen of the night and her two ominous subordinates. The ballet was intense and Swan Lake will never be the same after the tempestuous Lac.
courtesy of Dance Talk