Dance Preview: CHORÉ (Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa)

Post image for Dance Preview: CHORÉ (Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa)

by Tony Frankel on February 8, 2016

in Dance,Theater-Regional,Tours


In 1993, H.R.H. the Princess of Hanover appointed Jean-Christophe Maillot as the head of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. Backed by his experience as a dancer under Rosella Hightower and Hamburg Ballet’s John Neumeier, Maillot – the previous choreographer-director of the National Choreographic Centre of Tours – has since created more than 32 pieces, including several great narrative ballets which have entered the repertoire of large international companies.


Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is now in demand throughout the world thanks to Maillot’s iconic works, including Roméo et Juliette, Cendrillon, La Belle, Faust, and his glorious reimagining of Swan Lake (LAC), which was a knockout when it played Segerstrom Hall two years ago.

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Now, he forsakes the arena of these narrative ballets to bring us a “ballet in five tableaux,” Choré, which uses as its inspiration the Hollywood Musical. Given that Choré will only be seen in two cities as part of its globetrotting tour, it’s a privilege to know that – along with Leverkusen, Germany – this exciting new work will play at our own Segerstrom Hall for two days only beginning Friday, February 12, 2016.

"CHORÉ" choreografie Jean-Christophe Maillot Les-Ballets-de-Monte-Carlo_Chore-799a-Alice-Blangero

Set to music by Danny Elfman and John Cage – with original compositions by Bertrand Maillot, Yan Maresz, and Daniel Ciampolini – Choré will not be a recreation of Busby Berkeley and Gene Kelly. Instead this American Premiere will have Maillot examining the period that saw the emergence of American Musical Theatre. He uses this era as a reason to deconstruct the evolution of dance and abstractly examine the world between the old and the new. This full-length ballet will still be of epic scope even as it casts a fresh, provocative light on Hollywood musicals by setting their evolution against a turbulent historical backdrop, including the Great Depression.

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Including LAC, Cinderella, and Switch with Diana Vishneva, Choré is Maillot’s fourth work to be presented at Segerstrom. He can take very familiar stories and themes, and bring touches that humanize, layering his dancers with backstory that opens them up and gives them a dramatic arc. He avoids flashy steps as vehicles for the dancer; instead of jazz arms and big jumps for their own sake, he uses movement to open up the characters psychologically.

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Neither classical, contemporary, nor even between the two, Maillot refuses to adhere to one style and designs dance like a dialogue where traditional dance – whether en pointe work or avant-garde angularity – are no longer mutually exclusive. He is truly a master of the modern dance world. To learn more about the company and the show, there are free preview talks one hour prior to each performance.

"CHORÉ" choreografie Jean-Christophe Maillotproduction photos by Alice Blangero
and Hans Gerritsen

Choré (American Premiere)
Jean-Christophe Maillot, choreographer
Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa
Friday, February 12, 2016 at 7:30
Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 2 and 7:30
for tickets, call 714.556.2787 or visit SCFTA

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