The Monte Carlo Ballets

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July 2023

The Monte Carlo Ballets offer us Coppél-iA , a new creation by Jean-Christophe Maillot. The choreographer-director of the company reviews this famous romantic piece, re-exploring the world of automata to reflect on the development of artificial intelligence in our society. 

This iconic title from the classical repertoire is based on the 1870 Coppélia created by Arthur Saint-León and Léo Delibes from the story Der Sandmann by ETA Hoffmann. 

Coppél-iA projects the public into the near future in which two young lovers, Frantz and Swanhilda, discover carnal love in a society that demands more and more progress, security and hygiene. When eroticism bursts into their lives, an artificial being shakes their certainties and challenges everything they thought they knew about love. 

The choreographer, in his review, gives life and feelings to the automaton created by Dr. Coppélius, thus acquiring a human category that goes beyond the plausibility of human movements. 

For these evenings, Maillot has given as much importance to history as to dance; the characters are carefully drawn and the music of Delibes is also enriched by a more contemporary air that underlines the emotions of the protagonists. 

Is the ideal partner represented by people or artificial intelligence who, empowered, question our position as a human species? At a time when Japan is drafting a new constitution that already provides for rights for robots, it is no longer a science fiction universe but a reality that raises questions and a debate about its limits. 

Loewe Foundation sponsors the Dance Circle

Ballet in 2 acts
Premiere: December 27, 2019 by Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo in the hall of the Princes du Grimaldi Forum 

Approximate duration2h

Program and cast

Gran Teatre del Liceu

Barcelona's opera house, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, was founded on the Rambla in 1847 and has continued over the years to fulfil its role as a culture and arts centre and one of the symbols of the city.

Today it is publicly-owned (by the Government of Catalonia, Barcelona City Council, Barcelona Provincial Council and the Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte) and administered by the Fundació del Gran Teatre del Liceu which, in addition to the aforementioned bodies, incorporates the Patronage Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu (the old society of owners).

Origins: From 1837 to 1847

The Liceu evolved out of the Sociedad Dramática de Aficionados (Society of theatre-lovers) set up in 1837 at the instigation of Manuel Gibert in the former convent of Montsió by members of the National Militia, an organization of armed citizens with liberal leanings.
Barcelona's economy and population were growing fast at the time and the city needed a music conservatory. This led to the conversion of the Sociedad Dramática into the Liceo Filármonico Dramático Barcelonés de S.M. la Reina Isabel II (Barcelona Dramatic and Philharmonic Lyceum of HM Queen Isabel II).  In addition to its theatrical activities, the new organization cultivated Italian-style singing and music.

The building on the Rambla

The original building was solemnly opened on 4 April 1847. The plans had been drawn up by Miquel Garriga i Roca, subsequently assisted by Josep Oriol Mestres. The project was funded by selling shares, which meant that many of the boxes and seats were to be privately owned. The shareholders formed the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu, known as the “Societat de Propietaris” (Society of Owners),  which was in sole charge of running the Gran Teatre del Liceu from 1855 onwards, after it was legally separated from the Conservatori del Gran Teatre del Liceu.
The theatre was operated by impresarios who were given a concession to stage a specific number of productions in exchange for the proceeds from the sale of tickets not reserved for the Societat itself. This system was to endure until 1980.

The creation of the Consortium

By the last quarter of the 20th century this management system was no longer viable. In 1980, to avert the danger of the disappearance of an institution of such worldwide cultural renown, the Generalitat  Catalonia's first government in modern times – set up a consortium, the Consorci del Gran Teatre del Liceu, which also incorporated Barcelona City Council and the Societat del Gran Teatre del Liceu. Barcelona Provincial Council joined the Consortium in 1985, followed by the Spanish Ministry of Culture in 1986. From then on the Consortium took over operation of the theatre.

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