Ballet explores a different kind of love

Coppel-I.A. is coming to the stage in June as Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s modern take on the 1870 classic comedic ballet Coppélia.

In 1870, choreographer Arthur Saint-Léon debuted a new ballet at the Théâtre Imperial de l’Opéra in Paris, to the delight of audiences. The comic ballet, entitled Coppélia, was the story of a Dr. Coppéllius, who created a life-size dancing doll so lifelike that a village youth falls in love with her, shunning his current intended.

Ballets de Monte-Carlo’s famed artistic director Jean-Christophe Maillot became fascinated with the concept and created an ultra-modern show where a man falls in love with an automaton.

In his version, an engaged couple’s love is challenged by the entry into their lives of a robot with artificial intelligence.

The company describes the story best saying, “Coppel-i.A. projects us into the near future where two young lovers, Frantz and Swanilda, discover carnal love while their society demands ever more conformity. When eroticism bursts into their lives, an artificial being shakes up their certainties and calls into question what they thought they knew about love. Is the ideal partner the flesh being that we have always known or the abstract being that questions our belonging to the human race?”

The music arrangement of Bertrand Maillot echoes the original by Léo Delibes, but with a modern twist.

Coppél-I.A. comes to the Salle des Princes at the Grimaldi Forum for three performances on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of June.