The Cuban National Ballet (2007) For its third edition, the summer festival Étés de la danse de Paris was held for the first time under the glass roof of the Grand Palais. In 2007, the Cuban National Ballet gave a brilliant demonstration of the troop's technique and talent. The Canadian Grands Ballets of Montreal (2008) From July 21 to August 9, for the second year running, the Nave of the Grand Palais will be hosting Dances for summer. After Cuba last year, it will be the turn of the Grands Ballets canadiens from Montreal to bring us their wide range of styles, influences and talent.
Les Étés de la danse, 2007. The Cuban National Ballet: a state of grace. © Coll. Grand Palais, cliché François Tomasi
Launched in 2005, the Étés de la danse festival put on high-quality dance performances in the gardens of the National Archives. In 2007, it moved to the Grand Palais. The guest company was the Cuban National Ballet directed by Alicia Alonso, now in her eighties! For several days, the Grand Palais became a prestigious dance scene open to the widest possible public. The company has, since its beginnings in 1948, transcended the classical repertory, embracing contemporary ideas without sacrificing any of its Hispano-American identity. The celebrated troop alternated between two classics of the ballet repertory, Giselle and Don Quixote, and also offered fans the opportunity to attend the dancers' warming-up sessions. Musical evenings and an exhibition added a final touch to the Cuban flavour of the festival.
How contemporary choregraphy makes use of an Art nouveau staircase. © Coll. Grand Palais, cliché François Tomasi
Three shows are on the schedule: Minus One; Toot - Noces - Six dances; and Les Quatre Saisons - Cantata. The 37 dancers will be performing pieces by Ohad Naharin, Jiri Kylián, and Mauro Bigonzetti. After the performance, each evening will continue in party mode as deejays and video jockeys from Montreal concoct a multimedia environment in which the public can go through their own paces and let go! In addition to the dance performances, the public will be able to see Jocelyne Alloucherie's photographic installation Occidents, an exhibition made up of large-format black and white photos of architectural features displayed on 3D media. The final touch will be provided by Nicolas Reeves' "flying cubes" floating around the Grand Palais.