Do you consider the 100-year celebration of the Ballets Russes as a retrospective or a festival dedicated to the art of choreography?
It is a question of an event with a format completely different to any other existing in the cultural domain: 400 artists with geographically and choreographically diverse backgrounds, twenty world creations, a three-month programme divided into 3 acts, December, April and July. Without counting the expositions, conferences, installations, the masters class…above all this festive event is and has always been a joyous occasion. In terms of the anniversary the concentration of high quality performances is the most important aspect. In the first act, seven visions of the Sacre du Printemps (Rites of spring) will be performed, indicative of all the possibilities offered by the original version. Next July, by the end of this celebration, we will have completed a grand tour of the horizons of dance. I hope that this appraisal of the art of choreography will allow us to plot our future steps, in line with those opened up by Diaghilev.
What inspired the major events in the 2009-2010 programme?
The essence of the Ballets Russes has always inspired my work. It is not a question of going backwards but a question of continuity. Born into a family where inter-disciplines were the norm, the concept of mingling between the arts is fundamental to me. In this context, I have brought on board artists such as Marco Goecke, Jiri Kylian, Olivier Dubois, Shen Wei or Alonzo King. I wanted to offer the audience a coherent programme. The idea of a three-act celebration starts with a hommage to the choreographical heritage of the Ballets Russes, which endures to this day. Passion and curiosity are what drive me. For the Sacre du Printemps, I wanted to reveal the path, which orignates with Nijinsky, via Béjart and ending with Xavier Le Roy, whose play is the outcome.
Which collaborators are involved in this centenary ?
My idea was to celebrate this art festival in conjunction with all the national cultural institutions: the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte-Carlo, the Nouveau Musée National, l’Ecole Supérieure d’Arts Plastiques de Monaco, le Logoscope, les Archives Audiovisuelles… I gradually realised that the wealth of the Ballets Russes’ heritage is such that this hommage could last an entire season, involving other events such as the Printemps des Arts. Parallel to this we have collaborated with the major European festivals: Impulstanz in Austria, the Holland Dance Festival or institutions such as Sadlers Wells in London…
What thrills me most is the team spirit; the union of talent generated by this adventure. Diaghilev’s dream to create a festival in Monaco, which unites all art forms, is becoming a reality. We owe it all to the trust placed in us by the Monegasque government and HSH the Princess of Hanover, both of whom will be honoured at the gala evening on the 20th December.