Monaco has voiced its anger over the human rights impact of the conflict in Sudan at an Extraordinary Session of the UN Human Rights Council.
The meeting was held in Geneva on 11th May at the initiative of the United Kingdom, supported by several member and observer countries of the Council, including the Principality. It was called to address the escalation of violence observed in Sudan since 15th April.
During the meeting, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk described a “very worrying situation”, according to a statement by the Monaco government. He pointed out that more than 600 civilians have been killed since the conflict began, while over 150,000 people have fled the country and around 700,000 people have been forced to move within Sudan’s borders. The risk of worsening food insecurity, which already prevails in the country, was also highlighted by many delegations.
Monaco’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Office at Geneva Carole Lanteri strongly condemned the human rights violations committed in Sudan and expressed concern over the rapid deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the country in recent weeks.
She also called on all the parties involved to put an end to the violence and to seek a political and negotiated solution in order to reconnect with the process of democratic transition.
“Lanteri insisted on the need to return to conditions allowing immediate and unimpeded access of humanitarian aid to the affected populations in order to guarantee respect for human rights,” said the Prince’s government.
During the Extraordinary Session, a resolution, co-sponsored by the Principality, was adopted by the Council, committing to extend the scope of the mandate of the expert-designate on the human rights situation in Sudan, which will enable the Council to have detailed and documented reports on the violations committed in Sudan and to maintain its supervision.
Those who dreamed of spending this summer on the terraces of the new Café de Paris will have to hold on a little longer, but the wait will sure be worth it.
16 months was the original time scale for the vast €55 million renovations at the Café de Paris, meaning that this iconic address would have been reopened to the public come July. However, it hasn’t quite worked out that way, as new Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer Président Délégué Stéphane Valeri revealed at a press conference last week.
After the construction team in January uncovered old foundations that weren’t on their plans, a team of experts was called in to assess the situation and find a solution. This has led to a three-month delay for the overall project, so the public won’t be able to enjoy the refreshed and revived establishment until the end of October.
The wait will be longer still for the much-anticipated Amazonico restaurant on the roof terrace, whose launch date has been pushed back until April 2024.
During the press conference on Friday 12th May, Valeri revealed previously unseen images of what patrons can expect from the interior of the revamped Café de Paris: a stylish bistro on the ground floor and a chic brasserie reminiscent of the early days of the establishment, which was built in 1863, on the first floor.
Further changes have been announced for the site and the plans are set to help balance the books when it comes to the overspending already incurred by the Café de Paris project.
Luxury boutiques with a sought-after address
“In autumn, we will be opening seven luxury boutiques within the Café de Paris complex,” Valeri told journalists.
The stores will all be found on the Allée François-Blanc, which runs along the southern side of the Café de Paris building and faces the Casino de Monte-Carlo. It’s an enviable spot for the world’s most luxurious brands.
“We are in the heart of Monte-Carlo, a place frequented by a considerable number of the ultra-rich,” added Valeri. “The demand from international brands was very strong. I had to say no to some.”
LVMH has already reserved two of the future stores: one for Tag Heuer and another for Tiffany & Co. Arije has also been confirmed. The names of the remaining brands set to join this prestigious street are still being worked out, but Valeri has given a few hints: “Very nice shoes and prêt-à-porter wear”.
Over the weekend, a Monegasque team of firefighters took part in the Trail Trophée de Biot, which saw them race along forest trails with a disabled team member as they sought to win a prize for the Monaco Liver Disorder Association.
When a person is sick or disabled, they can miss out on things that the rest of us take for granted. Simple acts can become monumental tasks and often they don’t get to experience things the way they should or could.
This is where the Trail Pour Tous comes in. The association takes those who cannot go out on their own on nature trails in the comfort of a joëlette, a wheelchair-type construction that is specially made for trails and features sturdy wheels and handles to make pushing and pulling the chair on uneven terrain easier.
“It all started with the motorcycle accident of a friend, in Èze, who became a paraplegic,” explains Jérôme Fouffé, the president and founder of the Trail Pour Tous. “It was when I learned that he regularly looked at the photos of trail [events] organised in the region that we wanted to find a way to take him to them with a small group on a joëlette. That was in 2009, then we founded our association in 2014 to buy other joëlettes and help families in the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var.”
This year’s winning team were a group of firefighters from Cagnes-sur-Mer, who were followed by a Nice police team and firefighters from Menton. The Monegasque firefighters racing for the Monaco Liver Disorder Association came in sixth.
In a new exhibition, the Palace Archives and the Audiovisual Institute present 100 images of Prince Rainier III “at home” in the Palace and his other places of residence alongside other rare objects and documents.
Prince Rainier III was truly at home in the Palace of Monaco. He was the first ruler to be born there since Honoré IV in 1758, and he endeavored throughout his reign to restore and defend the identity of his country.
In this exhibition, as part of his centenary celebrations, his life and reign are presented from three perspectives.
Firstly, that of the Sovereign in the exercise of his functions, doing “paperwork” in the Palace surrounded by his employees.
It is in the Palace where he also received distinguished guests, that the major acts of political life took place and that the tradition of artistic patronage of the Princes of Monaco continues. It is here, also, where the public image of the Prince was patiently built through the media.
The second part of the exhibition explores the life of a man whose different homes correspond to the different ages of his life: the Palace of Monaco where he was born and grew up until his studies and the tumult of war, the Villa Iberia in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat where the bachelor Prince stayed until his marriage to Grace Kelly, the Rocagel house he built for his family, and finally the Castle of Marchais, a historic residence of the Grimaldis since 1854.
“The personal passions of the Prince make it possible to understand his personality and his commitments. When he takes off the sovereign’s uniform or the clothes of the father of the family, Rainier puts on his work shirt to retire to his workshop, where he models wrought iron sculptures,” say the exhibition curators.
In the final stage of the exhibition, the “great hours” of the Prince at the Palace are evoked, from his years of apprenticeship at the end of the World War II to the paroxysms of the Franco-Monegasque crisis and the proclamation of a new constitution, through to the momentous gatherings with the Monegasque population.
The exhibition, titled Le Prince Chez Lui, Prince Rainier III en images: 1923 – 2005, was curated by Thomas Fouilleron and Vincent Vatrican. It will be on show in the Grands Appartements of the Prince’s Palace from 31stMay to 20th August 2023.
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Veloce Racing won their second race of the Extreme E season at the Hydro X Prix in Scotland to return to the top of the standings.
Veloce drivers Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor led from start to finish at the team’s home X Prix, fending off attacks from NEOM McLaren, who earned just their second-ever Extreme E podium.
In the mud of Dumfriesshire, Rosberg X Racing became unstuck, and following a difficult weekend, which included a collision in Q2, the team was forced to retire in Sunday’s race, which has allowed their competitors to steal a march.
Nico Rosberg’s team are now third in the Championship standings, just one point above Lewis Hamilton’s X44 Vida Carbon Racing, and 28 points of leaders Veloce Racing (80 points). Acciona | Sainz XE Team are second with 69 points.
“We had a tough weekend, much tougher than Saudi Arabia,” said race-winner Hansen. “It was a huge effort from the team to pull through in such difficult conditions.”
Lewis Hamilton’s team victorious on Saturday
Like all of the race weekends, the Hydro X Prix in Scotland was a double-header, and Saturday’s race was won by Hamilton’s team: X44 Vida Carbon Racing. It was Fraser McConnell’s first-ever victory in the discipline, and X44’s first of the season, having won the second season of the Extreme E series.
Despite crossing the line second, X44 were promoted to the top step of the podium after the Andretti team were handed a penalty.
“It’s amazing to get my first win for X44. It’s been something that I’ve been working towards not just for myself, but for the whole team,” said McConnell, who took the victory alongside race partner Cristina Gutiérrez.
The grid next heads to Sardinia, Italy, for another double-header in early July.
Monaco Life, in partnership with the Princess Grace Foundation-USA, is proud to present a monthly series highlighting the lives and artistic work of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA’s illustrious Award winners.
In this month’s exclusive interview, Princess Grace Foundation-USA’s Chief Program Officer Diana Kemppainen sits down with Princess Grace Award winner Cassandra Trenary (Dance 2015).
Cassandra is a principal dancer with the world-renowned American Ballet Theatre (ABT), where she recently debuted in the leading role of Tita in Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length ballet, Like Water for Chocolate. In addition to her leading roles at ABT, Cassandra has made a name for herself working in the contemporary world performing Molissa Fenley’s solo State of Darkness at the Joyce Theater, with Twyla Tharp’s company at her New York City Center season, and recently with Tony- Award winner Sonya Tayeh.
In conversation, Cassandra speaks about her love of ballet, finding the human moments in iconic classical ballet works, and working through the pressure of being a principal dancer.
Let’s start at the beginning. What inspired you to become a dancer?
I grew up in a Lawrenceville in Georgia and I was super active. My mom put me into everything to get me to calm down. Dance was one of those things; I started with ballet and tap combo when I was three. My first intensive in Alabama was when it clicked that I wanted to do this professionally. I fell in love and was surrounded by other young people who felt the same way. Up until then, I felt a little strange to love it so much and want to be the best I could be. The stars aligned, and I was offered a scholarship to ABT’s (American Ballet Theatre) intensive. I was 12 years old; I felt the community and got to see the legendary videos of the dancers. I fell in love.
On coming to train at the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School (JKO, and the professional training school that is a part of American Ballet Theatre):
When I joined, I wasn’t at the top level, and I was one of the older dancers in the level I was in. It was a humbling experience. I went from being a strong talent in Georgia to entering a world where everyone was so talented. It lit a fire under me to really work hard.
On getting her first contract with American Ballet Theatre (ABT):
I was offered an apprenticeship with ABT 2 and a few months later I was offered a spot in the company to fill in for another dancer. I was very lucky to have some brilliant choreographers notice me early on and give me opportunities. The path presented itself in an organic way and I had a lot of cheerleaders.
On her promotions to soloist (2015) and principal (2020):
Both promotions were a shock. In 2015 when I was promoted to soloist, I had been injured a lot in my first seasons with the company. I thought my path in the company would shrink a bit and I had to be OK with that. However as soon as I was healthy, the artistic team pushed me, and I ended up doing my first variation and following that did a lot of soloist roles.
Getting promoted to principal was the most shocking of all because it was in 2020 and we didn’t even know if there was a company to come back to. I was leaning into ways to be an artist that didn’t have to do with ABT and that felt really beautiful. I was dancing with Sonya Tayeh and in conversations with Molissa Fenley.
You have this idea of what it’s going to be like when you get promoted – you’re all in this one studio at the end of the Met season with your peers when the announcements are made. But when I got the phone call, I was in Kaatsbaan choreographing and producing a film. I was in the middle of nowhere with dancers and close friends I would never have met outside of the pandemic. We were cooking a meal together when I got the call. I was so thrilled because I didn’t know what the future held.
On the pressure:
When I truly get to a place where I’m in my groove as an artist and comfortable, that’s when I’m able to let go and technically develop. We did come back, and I felt much more equipped to be in this position with ABT after all of my experiences. As an actress and dancer, I’m much more comfortable discovering as I go. I feel like I’m starting over in this position [as Principal].
This season you debuted the leading role in Tony-Award winner Christopher Wheeldon’s new full-length ballet, Like Water for Chocolate. Tell us what it’s like to originate a role.
The Royal Ballet developed the material, so I had a lot of beautiful references. Being the first in North America and the United States and working with Christopher Wheeldon, I got to apply my own personal experience. Although Chris is very precise in this choreography and you have to be technically correct, he wanted it to feel fresh and I got to apply my own experience. The ballet is more like a play; the gestures are more human and it’s a ballet largely having to do with Tita [Cassandra’s character] suppressing desire and passion, things I can relate to. It was one of my favorite experiences; to open a new ballet in the title role at ABT is a once-in-a-career moment.
This season you’ll perform in iconic classical ballets – Giselle and Romeo and Juliet, and many iconic ballerinas have performed those roles both at ABT and throughout the dance world. What’s your process when you’re stepping into these roles?
I haven’t had the opportunity to perform the roles too much and every time I do, it feels like a major honor, and I approach with the feeling of gratitude.
It doesn’t always work out the way I would like. I recently did Giselle [as part of ABT’s National Tour], and I had spent so much time with “Like Water for Chocolate” I felt physically behind. For the first time in a long time, I felt an immense amount of pressure. But I had people to call upon and I focused on the story and being present. Even with these iconic ballets, there’s a lot of space to be human and freedom in interpretation. When I’m not feeling my strongest technically, I can lean on that and do my character development. When I’m staying true to bringing my experience to those women it will come through. If I worry too much about technically, you psyche yourself out and think about that one thing.
I think back to when ABT was known for their superstars and I think gosh are we those people now? I think we’re very different; we’re very different artists, dancers, and humans. But the weight of those folks is in the space, and as an artist and technician, I want to do all those ballets to the best of my ability. But what will carry this artform into the future is if we do dance them differently. At the end of the day, I find that if I focus on the character, the dancing gets a little easier.
What is a role you have yet to do, that you really want and why?
Swan Lake comes to mind, and there are so many ballets I’d love to do – Onegin, Manon. We haven’t done Lady of the Camellias in many years. Those are just the classics; there are many choreographers and existing work I would love to take on: Crystal Pite, Jiří Kylián, Mats Ek. This summer I’ll get to do Le Jeune Hommes et la Mort with Alban Lendorf in Denmark.
Your work as an artist extends outside of your ‘home company’ ABT, you’ve performed Molissa Fenley’s solo ‘State of Darkness’ at the Joyce Theater, with Twyla Tharp’s company at City Center and in work by Sonya Tayeh. What drives you to find these projects?
I’m so privileged, they’ve always come to me. It started early on in my career. One of my first projects was Daniil Simkin’s Intensio. I was hired as everybody’s understudy, and the project went on for so long; when I started, I was in the corps de ballet and was a soloist when it ended. I’ve always put myself out there as someone who is open to it. I’m not afraid of looking silly, I approach any new way of moving as a student. I love it and feel like it informs my classical work as well. The more I expand as a dancer, the more I learn about my body, being presence and music. It’s really important to me and my process. In every off-season, I have a new job lined up. It’s good old-fashioned working hard and having people excited about the work I’m doing.
The choreographers she wants to work with:
Pina Bausch. She’s a very important person and I would love to dance in her work. I’d love to work more with Twyla [Tharp], Sonya [Tayeh], and Jenn Freeman. But there are so many… I want to work with kind, authentic people; women and folks that haven’t had a voice in a big way and have a lot to say.
On new leadership at American Ballet Theatre (former Principal Dancer Susan Jaffe recently took over from long-time Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie):
I’ve spent some really beautiful time in the studio with Susan, and she just announced the Fall season rep which I’m very excited about. I’m hopeful, it feels like a fresh start – exciting, scary and all the things that go with massive change.
Hitchcock once said Grace Kelly was like a snow-covered volcano; what classical ballet would you cast her in?
Like Water for Chocolate. Dramatically it’s so demanding. You’re trying to not show how you feel on the outside but inside you have all this passion. The saying itself, “Like Water for Chocolate,” comes from Laura Esquivel, the writer of the book, and she said it was like, “…you’re about to boil over; I’m right on the edge.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
I want to continue expanding. In a dream scenario, I’m dancing more of these iconic works I mentioned. It would be cool to act more and be involved in theater and film. I’d love to spend time abroad as guest artist. I hope that I push myself to create more – I kinda want to do it all.
Any final words for the Monaco community?
I hope to visit. There’s such a rich arts community there. I know a few dancers in Ballet de Monte Carlo; they love it and it’s such a fierce company. I’d love to check it out sometime.