”There are short-cuts to happiness, and dancing is one of them.”
– Vicki Baum
– Vicki Baum
|LAC (Swan Lake) by Jean-Christophe Maillot Ballets © Laurent Philippe|
By Jean-Christophe Maillot
Choreographer-Director, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo
One could believe that the narrative ballet, in case it’s telling the story, would bring the audience from the point A to the point B, on contrary of so called abstract ballet that stays open to all the possible interpretations. It has been now 30 years that I experiment the narration in my pieces and finally things don’t seem so simple. For example I am not sure that all the people in the audience arrive to the same conclusion at the end of my performances. The point B is obviously not the same for everyone. So we could ask ourselves if the narration is a support for the comprehension or ... on contrary, as I think, a walking stick to venture off the beaten tracks. Inversely, the intrusions that I allow myself in the more abstract forms are not necessarily difficult to understand.
|Cendrillon by Jean-Christophe Maillot © Marie-Laure Briane|
Certain movements talk by themselves, starting up simultaneous emotion in spectators. The reason for this is that we all have a body and in a certain way we are « already always » connected with what the dancer is doing on stage. If he jumps, if he curls up, or shakes, our body feels in its flesh what is happening and the sensations are more direct than through the story.
It happens that Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo return today to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts to present LAC (Swan Lake). It is a narrative piece that confronts us with uneasy characters, filled with the contradictory desires that are conspiring against each other. The narration in this case complicates things but unveils more and lets everyone to the self-interrogation until the point they choose to reach. This is why I love narration. Because it cures us of the environment where the messages and codes are simplified to the extreme in order to satisfy populist stakes.