Sports round-up: Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella watch on as Roca Team seal EuroLeague victory

From a EuroLeague game against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul to a Betclic Elite face-off with Bourg-en-Bresse and a Ligue 1 draw with Le Havre, AS Monaco basketball and football fans, including the Princely family, had plenty of opportunities to cheer on their favourite teams over the weekend.  

Prince Albert, Princess Charlene and their nine-year-old twins, Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, joined a packed stadium of AS Monaco Basket fans on Friday 2nd February to watch a pivotal Turkish Airlines EuroLeague game against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul. 

It was a tight game, but the Roca Team rallied, particularly in the fourth quarter, to win 76-69 to the applause and cheers of the Princely family, who had enjoyed prime seating in the box.

Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella joined their parents in the premium box to watch the game. Photo credit: AS Monaco Basket

There was little time to rest for the players, who were out on the road to Bourg-en-Bresse just two days later for a Betclic Elite match on Sunday 4th February. Perhaps it was fatigue or maybe just bad luck, but despite Monaco’s efforts and a more dominant rebounding performance, the home side took the win: 74-70.

The result reduces AS Monaco’s lead at the top of the Betclic Elite standings to two points ahead of Lyon’s ASVEL Basket.  

AS Monaco pays tribute to Number 8 Jean Petit  

The football match against Le Havre on Sunday 4th February in the French Ligue 1 might not have been the most exciting AS Monaco game of the season, but it was a poignant one. 

Prince Albert and AS Monaco President Dmitry Rybolovlev stood side-by-side to lead a minute of applause before kick-off in homage to AS Monaco’s former Number 8, Jean Petit, who passed away at the age of 74 on 23rd January. 

The game at the Stade Louis II was ultimately a draw, with a goal apiece for AS Monaco and Le Havre. 

“We couldn’t find a way to score the goal,” said a frustrated Adi Hütter, the manager for the Rouges et Blancs, after the game. “You can always talk about our defence or the goals we conceded, but we had several chances in the first 45 minutes. At the start of the season, for example, we managed to put them away. We were the better team today and we’re very dissatisfied and disappointed with this result.” 

 

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Main photo credit: Eric Mathon / Palais Princier de Monaco

Monaco’s top academy ballet dancers awarded the Prix de Lausanne

Three dancers from Monaco’s Princess Grace Academy have been awarded at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne.

A large and enthusiastic audience attended the prestigious 52nd edition of the Prix de Lausanne Finals at the Theatre de Beaulieu on the weekend, while hundreds of thousands of ballet lovers followed online.

Created in 1973, the Prix de Lausanne (PLD) is an annual international competition for young dancers to discover, promote, and support the finest talents. One of a kind, the PLD has represented for half a century an exceptional experience for young dancers to nurture their skills and step towards a professional career. This renowned global dance event is open to professionals who can observe and establish contacts with the candidates, thereby transforming Lausanne into the world’s capital for young dancers during the week of the competition.

The Princess Grace Academy’s Juliann Fedele Malard from France. Photo credit: Gregory Batardon

To participate in the competition week in Lausanne, candidates must prepare two solos, one classical variation and one contemporary variation, from a list provided for both girls and boys. The Prix de Lausanne is more than just a competition: it’s also a week of training for the candidates. They attend classes with renowned teachers and rehearse under the direction of great dancers and teachers who help them work out how to interpret the roles.

This year, 425 applicants (333 girls and 92 boys) from 43 countries sent their videos to be reviewed by a jury consisting of nine dance professionals who had gathered in Lausanne the previous weekend. Jury members are either linked with the PDL partner schools and companies, are themselves PDL prize winners, or renowned figures from the dance world.

The Princess Grace Academy’s Martinho Lima Santos from Portugal. Photo credit: Gregory Batardon

Evaluation of the candidates’ potential

Throughout the competition, the jury evaluated a candidate’s potential as a ballet dancer by considering: artistry, physical suitability, courage and individuality; an imaginative and sensitive response to the music; a clear grasp of communicating differing movement dynamics; and technical facility, control, and coordination.While advanced technical skills are considered, jurors’ primary focus is on the candidate’s potential to succeed as a professional ballet dancer. Each jury member gives one mark between one and nine (nine being the highest) for each round, with results announced during the Awards Ceremony on Saturday 3rd February.

Of the 88 initially selected candidates, 86 (42 girls and 44 boys), representing 18 nationalities, participated in the 2024 edition of the Prix de Lausanne, and 20 became finalists. At the end of the finals competition, the jury presided over by Dame Darcey Bussell, President of the Royal Academy of Dance and PDL 1986 Prize Winner, selected nine winners. Thanks to their scholarships, these nine promising dancers can join one of the prestigious Partner Schools and Companies of the Prix de Lausanne.

The Princess Grace Academy’s Paloma Livellara Vidart from Argentina. Photo credit: Gregory Batardon

The students at the Academy have talent!

Three gifted students from the reputable Princess Grace Academy were among the nine prize winners of the 20 finalists at the prestigious Prix de Lausanne (PDL). They are Paloma Livellara Vidart from Argentina, Martinho Lima Santos from Portugal, and Juliann Fedele Malard from France. They received a total of six Prizes.

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Photo credit: Gregory Batardon

Nice Côte d’Azur Airport unveils modernised Business Centre for workers on the go

business centre nice

With the needs and demands of the modern, fast-paced world of business in mind, Nice Côte d’Azur Airport has unveiled a refreshed and renovated Business Centre in Terminal 1 for workers of the go. 

With a capacity of up to 250 people and a range of different facilities for everyone from the independent remote worker to large groups in need of a place to host conferences or conduct a meeting at a fly-in, fly-out location, the revamped Business Centre is a central and convenient space that has been described as “elegant, innovative and modular”.  

Top-of-the-range audio-visual equipment has been installed to make video conferencing a snap and there is free and unlimited high-speed Wi-Fi available throughout the space.  

In total, there are 11 rooms of differing sizes, configurations and proportions, giving businesspeople plenty of flexibility when it comes to choosing the right setting for a specific event. 

The aim of the Business Centre is to improve the airport’s capacity to facilitate gatherings such as conferences, seminars, training sessions, product launches, focus groups and the like, as well as offer personalised packages at varying price points with add-ons such as food and beverage services and long-term reservations also a possibility.  

For more information or to book a space at the Business Centre, click here.

 

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Photo source: Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, Facebook

Environmental setback as French government mollifies farmers with hold on pesticide ban

After two weeks of widespread strikes and protests by members of France’s farming community, the roadblocks and downing of tools finally seems to be coming to an end on the back of a decision to pause a ban on pesticides and offer the country’s agricultural industry more financial support. 

France’s farmers have come out of talks with French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal and Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau on top, and the vast majority have headed back to work with the promise of more investment and financial support for the cash-strapped and pressurised sector.  

One of the key reasons for the strikes, according to the farmers and unions involved, had been that they are struggling in the face of cheaper goods being imported into France from countries that have less strict environmental rules. 

They argued that they are the victims of over regulation and simply don’t have access to affordable and more ecological alternatives to the pesticides and other chemicals banned under the Ecophyto 2030 scheme that had been initiated with the goal of reducing pesticide use in France by 50% by 2030. 

In response, the French government has agreed to scrap, at least for the time being, some of the bans that had been specified under the Ecophyto 2030 strategy. 

“We are going to put it on pause in order to rework a certain number of aspects and to simplify it,” said Fesneau.

INCREASED RISKS OF ILLNESS AND DEATH  

Pesticides are a major source of pollution, including water contamination and soil degradation, and are known to be harmful to human and animal life. Illnesses linked to pesticides include cancer, as well as a variety of heart, respiratory and neurological diseases, according to reports put out by the European Environment Agency, yet the use of pesticides is still prevalent across the continent.  

The decision by the French government to walk back on its pledge to prohibit the use of certain pesticide has stirred up strong feelings amongst supporters of stricter environmental regulations. 

Among the loudest voices is that of Marie Toussaint, a Green party member of the European Parliament, who called it “a poisoned chalice for the farmers” in an interview on RMC Radio. 

Meanwhile, Clementine Autain, a left-leaning La France Insoumise party member, described the decision as “total madness from an environmental point of view”, adding that it is “not in the interest of most farmers, and certainly not in the interest of French people’s health”.  

Greenpeace has also criticised the move by weighing in on social media to call it a “major and dangerous setback”.  

 

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Photo source: Erich Westendarp, Pixabay  

Man dies in paragliding accident near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

A man has lost his life after a tragic paragliding accident over the weekend that reportedly occurred shortly after the victim took off from a popular site near Roquebrune-Cap-Martin. 

The emergency services are believed to have been called out to a location near the Chemin des Vallières in Roquebrune-Cap-Martin at around midday on Sunday 4th February. 

Not much is known as yet about the incident, but France Azur Bleu has reported that a doctor who attended at the site of the accident suggested a “piloting error” made by the victim may have been the cause of the crash.

The deceased was reportedly in his forties and was of Hungarian nationality.

The Chemin des Vallières site is a popular place for take offs within the local paragliding community, but it has also been the location of a number of accidents over the years. 

The most recent was in November 2023, when a paraglider’s sails became entangled in nearby railway lines. Thankfully, no one was hurt during that incident, but it did cause considerable disruption to train travel between Ventimiglia and Nice. 

Paragliding is a popular sport in the area as it benefits from a unique microclimate that allows thrill-seeking paragliders to practice their sport year-round. 

 

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Photo source: Pop and Zebra, Unsplash

‘To The Point(e)’: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo to present modern ballet trilogy in April

Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo is poised to showcase ‘To the Point(e)’, a new and engaging trilogy of works created by leading choreographers of the present day, including the Company’s own director, Jean-Christophe Maillot.  

In late April, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo will present a thoroughly modern series of performances displaying the evolution of the ballet genre in the 21st century.  

On the programme will be three independent works: ‘Within the Golden Hour’ by Christopher Wheeldon; ‘Autodance’, the fruit of a collaboration between Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar; and ‘Towards a Wise Country’ from Maillot himself.  

Wheeldon’s piece combines the compositions of Ezio Bosso and Antonio Vivaldi with innovative choreography enhanced by Jasper Conran’s costumes and Peter Mumford’s lighting. ‘Autodance,’ an intense production with genuine emotional depth, challenges its dancers with a dynamic choreography set to Ori Lichtik’s music. Maillot’s ‘Towards a Wise Country’, meanwhile, will round out the performances with a moment of reflection on the complex topic of humanity.  

Five performances have been scheduled between 24th and 28th April at the Grimaldi Forum’s Salle des Princes, with all but the final performance to begin at 7.30pm. The last show will take place in the afternoon at 3pm. 

The Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, led by Garrett Keast, will be providing the music for the performances, which promise both a rich auditory and visual experience for the audience.  

Click here for more information.  

 

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Photo credit: Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo