Monaco and the Rose Ball
1954: Monaco turns old-fashioned into a new trend
In 1954, Henry Astric, Artistic Director for the Société des Bains de Mer, took an extraordinary risk: whilst the trend then was for modern dances with exotic overtones such as samba, foxtrot and mambo, he suggested holding a ball dedicated to the waltz. For this romantic flashback, there would be no real stars; just roses and 100 violins.
In 1957, the ball was accompanied by a ballet, Mimi la Rose, starring Colette Marchand.
1975: a turning-point for Monte-Carlo’s Rose Ball
In 1975, there was a change of scenery but the concept remained the same. The Rose Ball still staged roses, 100 violins and a ballet, but in a brand new setting: the Monte-Carlo Sporting Club. Among other novelties, this club offered a starry ceiling studded with thousands of tiny blue and white light bulbs. That same year, the Rose Ball became a charity event, holding a tombola with many generous prizes.
In 1977, the ballet presented Jacques Chazot at the top of the bill, and in the following years the Rose Ball adopted a different theme for each edition: gypsy music, the French can-can, the Charleston and the tango, inviting leading names such as Alfredo Arias, Annie Fratellini, and Jérôme Savary to add yet more sparkle to the event.
The half-century old tradition continues even today: the Rose Ball is held in Monaco every year during the month of March.