Jean-Christophe Maillot, director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, reveals the highlights of the 2023 edition of the F(ê)aites de la danse dance festival, which will take place on 8 and 9 July in the centre of Monaco, on the Place du Casino de Monte-Carlo. A fun 24-hour event designed to bring together artists and their audiences!
After the first edition in 2017, which saw the Place du Casino de Monte-Carlo transformed for one night into a giant dancefloor for thousands of participants, the F(ê)aites de la Danse dance festival is back, bigger than ever, for 24 hours of celebration in the centre of Monte-Carlo. What inspired you to create this event? “I’ve always been interested in the relationship between artists and the public. This led me to experiment with different ways of presenting shows: in very large theatres, in very small ones, in the open-air overlooking the sea, in tents… But whatever the format, there was always something that I couldn’t overcome, the barrier between the artist who gives and the spectator who receives. I secretly hoped that one day I would see them dancing together. And I’ve succeeded with F(ê)aites de la Danse,” says Jean-Christophe Maillot delightedly, having designed, created and realised this event with his artistic team from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo. The festival brings together hundreds of artists, virtuoso musicians, international dancers and amateurs, all there to get the public dancing in Monte-Carlo. On the programme for the 2023 edition are performances, parades, open-air shows, workshops, opportunities for discussion and many more surprises.
“We can sum up the success of the first edition in just one sentence: there was popular demand for us to do it again,” continues Jean-Christophe Maillot. “There were two great moments from the first edition which have stayed in my mind. Firstly, the very beginning. Minutes before the start, the Place du Casino was relatively empty, but suddenly it filled up with people who had come to participate at the giant barre. The second moment was the performance at midnight of Core Meu by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo and Antonio Castrignano. The public was dancing with the artists. The barrier that I wanted to knock down not only gave way, it completely disappeared.”
In July 2023, F(ê)aites de la Danse is inviting you to go further still in exploring the movements of the body. After the fun-packed events of Saturday night, Sunday will be the opportunity for more inward-facing experiences. “The first edition began at 6pm and ended at dawn the next day. For this second edition, we are going to add a ‘Detox’ day that will last into the afternoon of the following day. A part two, a second side almost to F(ê)aites de la Danse. This part will be more oriented towards activities calling for more gentle and reflective movement,” says the choreographer and director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo happily.
Bearing witness to the transformation of dance over time, this festival is a fantastic way to share the joy of dancing. “Dance has been transformed in many ways. Even the word ‘evolution’ can’t really describe what has happened as the directions in which dance has gone are diverse and multidisciplinary. Thanks to the internet and social networks dance can now take many different forms. For example, it is now impossible to separate dance from new media like platforms. And obviously that’s really exciting. F(ê)aites de la Danse represents a temporary suspension of this acceleration and gives us the opportunity to come back to an artform whose origins are still obscure, but about which we know one thing: since the very beginning, dance has enabled people to come closer together,” adds Jean-Christophe Maillot. Especially since the festival benefits from unique surroundings for sharing these experiences. The choreographer and director of Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo concludes: “With the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, the Hôtel de Paris Monte-Carlo, the gardens of the Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Mediterranean Sea, as F(ê)aites de la Danse also takes place on the Terrasses du Casino de Monte-Carlo, this really is the most beautiful setting in the world for this type of event. The size of the area is perfect to ensure we can welcome large numbers but that it does not feel too crowded. Plus, the Place du Casino de Monte-Carlo has recently undergone significant works and been refurbished, and its layout is now even better suited to the festival.” Dancers from Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo will kick off the event at a giant barre. An event that is open to all and free to access.
Date: 8 & 9 July 2023
Location: Place du Casino de Monte-Carlo