Marie-Antoinette, Ballet by Thierry Malandain
Queen Marie-Antoinette of France certainly needs no introduction. The sharp contrast between her glamorous, indulgent life and her tragic death at the guillotine is simply too vast to ignore. Choreographer Thierry Malandain offers a unique exploration of the last French queen’s days of exuberant debauchery in Versailles and her slow decline from a revered monarch to a universally detested enemy of the people. The ballet Marie-Antoinette brings together Malandain’s talent as dance master and the music of Franz Joseph Haydn and Christoph Willibald Gluck at Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice. In performance by the Malandain Ballet Biarritz, audiences in the City of Love can enjoy this unique treatment of the life and death of one of the most intriguing women in European history.
Malandain’s ballet takes on the difficult task of telling Marie-Antoinette’s story with dance and movement instead of words. The choreographer’s gift for combining classical and modern ballet styles helps paint a vivid picture of daily life at the French royal court pre-Revolution. The opulent costumes, courtesy of Jorge Gallardo, convey the sense of aristocratic excess that fuelled the people’s righteous anger at their unelected leaders. Through beautifully crafted choreography, Malandain present Marie-Antoinette the lover, the matron, the ruler, and the victim all in the space of one performance. The selected music of Haydn and Gluck lends the ballet a refined and emotionally understated air that puts the dancers’ eye-catching moves front and centre.
Gran Teatro La Fenice in Venice opens its doors to the Malandain Ballet Biarritz for this very special trip through the life and times of Marie-Antoinette. The performance has enjoyed the applause of audiences around the globe and is now making its way to one of Italy’s most respected theatres, where it will undoubtedly continue delivering its gripping tale of one of the most polarising historical figures, painted in motion, sound, and sensibility.