5 reasons you need to see LAC

Posted on 20 September 2018 By Rose Mulready

In LAC, Jean-Christophe Maillot draws out the darker aspects of Swan Lake - the thin barrier between our human and animal natures, our greedy desires, the fragility of love - to create a sensual, frightening cousin of the world's most famous ballet. Here are five reasons why you shouldn't miss Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo dancing this extraordinary work in Melbourne. 

LES BALLETS DE MONTE-CARLO

For the first time, this celebrated company brings its full troupe to Australia. Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo was Princess Grace of Monaco's dream project, realised after her death by her daughter, Princess Caroline. Under the directorship of choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot, the company has won fame as an interpreter of innovative works that infuse the classical language with modern flair. Its visit to Melbourne is a rare opportunity to see one of Europe's leading dance troupes performing their signature work. 

Artists of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Photography Alice Blangero

CUTTING-EDGE DESIGN

LAC hovers between the elegant world of the court and the animal world of the forest. Costume designer Philippe Guillotel, who has worked in haute couture, dance and film as well as creating costumes for the Winter Olympics and World Cup ceremonies, plays with the bestial nature of the swan: "...we used the same material as the tutu, a tulle that we reworked and deconstructed to get closer to the idea of fur or down. But this time, the down is not used to create the ethereal vision of the ballerina. Instead, we accentuated the animal side." Ernest Pignon-Ernest, who created the staging for LAC, works with "an architecture of black-and-white silk" and "cascades of black metal" to frame the brooding characters. The lair of Her Majesty the Night is "a place of archaic dread".

Artists of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Photography Alice Blangero

LOVE TRIANGLES

In LAC, the traditional love triangle of Swan Lake - White Swan, Black Swan, Prince - is mirrored by the jealousy and attraction simmering between the King, his Queen and Her Majesty the Night, scheming mother of the Black Swan. Erotically charged trouble swirls around the castle.

Artists of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Photography Alice Blangero

CONTEMPORARY AND CLASSICAL

Jean-Christophe Maillot is one of the rare choreographers who can combine the fine lines of classical ballet with the unexpected twists and turns of contemporary movement. Get your pointe shoes and your provocation in one piquant package.

Artists of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Photography Alice Blangero

A NEW TAKE ON TRADITION

It's the best of both worlds. The swans, the dramatic love story and the spellbinding score of the traditional Swan Lake and Maillot's innovations, which will keep you guessing until the last step.

Artists of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Photography Alice Blangero