Charles Perrault wrote a story entitled The Sleeping Beauty and Petipa turned it into a delicate ballet to a magnificent score by Tchaikovsky. Jean-Christophe Maillot has retrieved the symbolism of the original tale and enlarged Tchaikovsky's score with excerpts from Romeo and Juliet, while discarding Petipa's naïve approach. In his version the leading figures behave like adults, with adult emotions and desires. The result is a brilliant, sensual, dream-like ballet that makes the highest possible demands on the soloists and the entire company, an outstanding example of the neoclassical school of dance. Awarded the Nijinsky Prize for the best choreography in 2001, this work of great aesthetic and technical sophistication has been the worldwide calling card of the Monte-Carlo Ballet for over a decade.
On its foundation in 1985, the company was given the mission of reviving the dance tradition in Monaco. Under Jean-Christophe Maillot, its director since 1993, it has become a flagship of classical dance in its most sophisticated form.