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Le Rouge et le Noir

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Paris Opera Ballet / Paris / Stage

Pierre Lacotte has made a name for himself bringing back historic ballets. His approach is not quite scholarly restoration—“reconstitution” is the word the Paris Opera uses to describe what he does. In 2000, Lacotte’s treatment of The Pharaoh’s Daughter, choreographed by Marius Petipa in 1862, was great fun (who can forget the scene in the tomb, when the coffins arise from the floor?). Here, however, he’s choreographed his own ballet from scratch—his last, he says, for Lacotte is now 89. It’s based on Stendhal’s great novel The Red and the Black, which tells the story of Julien Sorel, low-born yet intellectual, and his path through Bourbon France, women falling at his feet. “It is a captivating character study for a choreographer and a ballet master,” says Lacotte. “All very spectacular, with fantastic episodes for a ballet.” The music is Jules Massenet, carefully matched to the many moods of the story. And the set, designed by Lacotte, is in black and white, as if we were in the pages of a book. —L.J.

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Paris Opera Ballet Place de la Bastille, 75012 Paris, France
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