Jean-Christophe Mayo: “The Ballet du Capitole enthusiastically participated in Romeo and Juliet”

The Capitol Ballet He begins his season with a beautiful entry into the repertoire: Romeo and Juliet By Jean-Christophe Mayo, from October 28 to November 3 at the Théâtre du Capitole. The first logical collaboration between the choreographer and the company, the Toulouse Troupe possesses the artistic and artistic qualities to capture his challenging pieces. But it is also a French precedent: no French company had the work of Jean-Christophe Mayo in its collection. How does Jean-Christophe Mayo bring this iconic ballet to the Palais du Capitole? What are the strengths of the company to seize? The choreographer and director of Ballets de Monte-Carlo tells us about the construction, step-by-step, of this demanding and emotionally rich transmission.

Jean Christophe May

Your work is closely related to the Ballets de Monte-Carlo interpreters. How do you transfer your parts to another company that does not know you? Isn’t there frustration in this job, compared to what you can achieve with your squad?

When you create a piece, you have a poetic vision of what you are trying to do and reveal it. Of course, the association is necessarily very strong with those with whom these pieces were made. There is always an eternal search for those first moments we experience with original distros, which we always have a hard time finding, wherever we are. You must then forget about your own looks and expectations and keep in mind that the ballerina you made will take on another job. It is no longer there to satisfy you, it is also there to generate in other dancers a special relationship to this history, this music, this choreography, and to enrich them.

The Capitol Ballet It is the 14th company in the world to do this Romeo and Juliet. This could make me say that the work I created 25 years ago must have something universal that goes through time like this. I’m not really worried about posterity (a smile) But there is something very reassuring about it. And it is fascinating to think that many dancers, of different origins, have come across this work. The choreographer is very admirably doomed to exist only through the performers. Today, there are forty Juliets and Romeo’s in the world who have worked on this way of working and understanding music. It is hugely rewarding.

What did Ballet du Capitole like in agreeing to send it to you Romeo and Juliet ?

Kader Bellarabi called me at the time of Covid, three years ago. I start from the principle that if he suggests it to me, the work has benefit and it is interesting to his company. I’ve come to see the band, and from what I’ve been able to notice, there’s an artistic ability and a character level ability to respond to a specific request from Romeo and Juliet. The race to get creative is always going, and while I’m more interested in conveying a work that already exists, it’s a great way to meet people, because we have a common discourse. I am unable to start a company when I don’t know the artists well.

Romeo and Juliet By Jean-Christophe Mayo – Ballet du Capitole in rehearsal – Minoro Caneco and Natalia de Fruberville

This is the first time that a French company has included one of your works in its portfolio. Do you count?

I will not deny it, I have a very special relationship with France, because of my history and multiple circumstances, which bear something sad about it. There might be some kind of bitterness, though that doesn’t stop me from working out. There can be a touch of pleasure in this entry to the registry, even if today it is clear that I only see three French companies capable of dancing in my business, and the others capable of doing so are now gone.

How did this transmission happen at the Ballet du Capitole?

Don’t assume the goal is to be satisfied with the result, but to try Get as close as possible to what the interpreters can accomplish in a given time. Asier Uriagereka and Bernice Coppieters came to learn ballet in company. Bernice has this extraordinary ability to transmit, for requirements and precision, to take these soloists elsewhere. They had four weeks, which is a very short period, but they immersed themselves in a way of seeing things, in a dynamic and choreographic style. These performers are so involved, they entered this project with passion and went to the end of themselves. I think there is a lot of fun doing the job. And this is the main thing: I convey this desire and this energy to them. If I’m honest, there are, of course, frustrations: there are roles that aren’t quite done, and a relationship to music that isn’t quite right yet. But I think it doesn’t matter, in absolute terms, and what I expect in my company can’t be achieved.

And you, what do you bring to them in the last days of rehearsal?

My eyes are no longer focused on my personal interest but On what these dancers reveal to me. I was very impressed with the commitment of this entire company. There is very good listening, strong commitment on their part and I was very impressed with the rehearsals. Perhaps there was a little bit of tension on their part during the first round, versus my being in the studio. But I told them that I had the same fear as them and that I was amazed that they had accomplished in such a short time. This relationship of trust is important: I confirm the correctness of this work, my work, which they convey. I give them my charitable appearance, small details and pictures that allow them to better understand. Sometimes, these are the things the ballet masters have already told them, but all I have to do is use another expression for it to work. It is characteristic of humans to accumulate information, and with one click, a different word, things suddenly become more clear and digestible.

Romeo and Juliet By Jean-Christophe Mayo – Ballets du Capitole in rehearsal

What are your main characteristics Romeo and Juliet ?

This ballet Kind of bible for my workI. I got rid of the occasional scenographic anecdotes. Then there is no longer this relationship in front of the audience but diagonally, which means that everything happens between the characters but nothing happens with the audience, which really has this voyeur function. It’s also a way of finding that very delicate balance, where big technique disappears in favor of natural on-stage behavior. Thus, when the nullity of the pas de deux ends, we do not retain anything in reality, but mainly a feeling. Finally, it’s a connection to music and this particular aesthetic, with Jerome Kaplan’s costumes or Ernst Bennon-Ernst scenography, which means we’ve run out of time and with a world order.

How were the distributions? There are not necessarily only stars in the cast.

I took into account the expectations of Kader Belarbi, we cannot confuse the entire hierarchy. But I make choices and listen. There are things that I cannot give up on. This ballet requires an absolute necessity to achieve a balance at the level of the characters on the distribution, it is necessary to find coherence. I hesitated a bit, and had a little trouble finding who would take the role, but things just went into place very naturally. There is only one distribution but it is very coherent. Minoru Kaneko (Editor’s note: demi-soloistHe’s Romeo, he’s very touching. Natalia de Frueberville Hey Juliette, she did an impressive job there and the balance is very fair. Nancy Osbaldestonwhom I knew as Marguerite at the Palais de Flandre when I got back there FaustShe makes an exceptional nanny. Mercutio dances by the star Ramiro Ramiro GomezBenvolio Philip Solans Alexander Ferreira Tybalt dance and Alexandra Surodeva She is Lady Capulet.

I am very happy with the team and I was very impressed with the group’s dancers. There is commitment and humility In the relationship with work at home they are special. These artists possess an indisputable technical solidity, which is tangible and becomes a rarity. I can see that Kader Belarbi is engaging the dancers, but also the individuals. The Théâtre du Capitole has recently become a national opera, and his ballet company truly adheres to that label.

Romeo and Juliet By Jean-Christophe Mayo – Ballet du Capitole in rehearsal – Natalia de Fruberville

Romeo and Juliet by Jean-Christophe Mayo at the Palais du Capitole, from October 28 to November 3 at the Théâtre du Capitole.


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