A bevy of black swans circled our car parked near to the lake’s edge. It was my first encounter with a black swan, nose to beak, separated only by a wind-up wind-down window pane. I would have been no taller than one of the swans, had I’ve been out of the car. I remember feeling awestruck by their scale, their very presence. And yet as I was four years of age, or thereabouts, is this a later addition stitched to a memory derived from family folklore? My mum recalled one of the swans hopped up on the car’s bonnet, but wonders now if such a spectacle is likely. A small car buried beneath a mountain of feathered bodies, it is almost a cartoon image—better yet, a cinematic one. In territorial union to our intrusion, the swans rallied, and looped for me a definitive impression of swans, lakes, and Tchaikovsky[note]It is circles I see, and always have, whenever I listen, and often I do, to Piotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”[/note].
Les Ballet de Monte-Carlo in “LAC” by Jean-Christophe Maillot. Photograph by Alice Blangero
The son of a painter and a set designer, director/choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot was, it seems, destined to have a life in the theater. Born and raised in Tours, in central France, in 1960, he studied dance and piano at the Conservatoire Nacional de Région de Tours before joining the Rosella Hightower International School of Dance in Cannes.Continue Reading