Entire generations have grown up reading Le Rouge et le Noir, finding in the 1830 novel by Stendhal a Bildungsroman and in Julian Sorel an alter ego for our own aspirations of career and love. For those who would like to find again that esprit de jeunesse, Pierre Lacotte’s “Le Rouge et le Noir” is a ballet not to be missed. Obviously, they have to be fond of those grands ballets in classic style that no choreographer stages anymore. Monsieur Lacotte is probably the last one, a specialist of that kind, who at 90 years of age was able to create a masterpiece of three hours long, in 3 acts and 16 tableaux, with 274 people on stage. The full-house at the Palais Garnier every night proves that an excellent narrative ballet is not old-fashioned.
Hugo Marchand and Bianca Scudamore in “Le Rouge et le Noir” by Pierre Lacotte. Photograph by Svetlana Loboff / ONP