Jean-Christophe Maillot tells Dansportalen that he got a request from the ballet director at the Bolshoi Ballet, Sergei Filin, to create a new ballet for their company.
"It was a tough decision to make, because that was something I had not done since I took over the leadership at Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. But I said 'yes' because I like the Moscow company very much and would love to work with the dancers there.
For the subject I wanted something dramatic and I have for many years intended to make a ballet after Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. I wanted to do it for Bernice Coppieters, star dancer of the Ballets de Monte-Carlo, but it was never the right time. When she recently retired from dancing, I said to myself: I will do it anyway, and the invitation from the Bolshoi was the ideal occasion.
The story is full of interesting characters even if it seems dated in its views on the relations between women and men. It needs to be treated with an open mind and a good sense of irony. I like to work with stories from a light perspective. In this story there are all kinds of relationships, and I found it interesting to show different ways of how a man can win an unwilling woman over.
It is a dramatic story told with a smile. Katarina and Petruchio are equally strong personalities, who would not fall for a just anyone. But – passion always wins!
It was the first time my wife Bernice Coppieters worked with me in the capacity of assistant choreographer. Having her by my side helped a lot, and we could discuss all the different relations as a couple."