Monaco and dance
Diaghilev‘s first productions in Monaco date back to 1909, when the “Russian Ballet“ performed the works of Michel Fokine, the troupe’s choreographer.
In 1911, the troupe, who had had no real base until then, made Monaco its home port. Monaco became its place of residence and rest as well as a research laboratory for the creation of masterpieces such as “Petrushka” and “The Spectre of the Rose“.
The company stayed in Monaco from December to May, creating and performing its ballets. It then set off on tour, first to Paris, then London, and finally all over Europe, before returning to Monaco for the winter.
This clockwork-like rhythm was unfortunately interrupted by the war, though the troupe did come home to Monaco in 1920. In 1923, it welcomed Serge Lifar, a prodigy in the dance world. He was followed in 1925 by dancer, coach and choreographer George Balanchine who created ten new ballets in Monaco, including the famous “Song of the Nightingale“, “Barabau“, “The Triumph of Neptune“, “The Pastoral” and “The Ball“.
Unfortunately, the Russian Ballet never really got over the death of Diaghilev in 1929. The Golden Age of dance came to an end for a time in Monaco, despite a few initiatives, some successful, after the Second World War.
1985: a year of rebirth
The year 1985 marked the rebirth of dance in Monaco with the creation of the “Ballets de Monte-Carlo” at the initiative of Princess Caroline. With the arrival of Jean-Christophe Maillot in 1993, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo joined the ranks of the world’s most renowned ballet companies. In 2000, with the opening of the Grimaldi Forum, the Ballets de Monte-Carlo now had a prestigious stage to match the international renown of the troupe who by then was travelling the world to perform their works.