Watch The Performance Here:
a 20th-century master of narrative ballet. It tells the story (also told, with variations,
in a novel and several operas) of Manon Lescaut, a beautiful young woman in 18th-century France who abandoned her true love,
the Chevalier Des Grieux, for a rich suitor's furs and jewels, suffered abuse by various men,
tried to return to Des Grieux, and died in a penal colony (Louisiana).
This stunning performance was produced under Macmillan's direction at Covent Garden,
where it usually draws capacity audiences (It is also in the repertoire of leading companies in Paris,
New York and, most recently, St. Petersburg.)
Besides those two show-business staples, sex and violence, this performance offers lyric grace in the love scenes,
pathos in the death scene, remarkable dancing and mime, narrative clarity, and vivid characterization,
not only by Jennifer Penney (Manon), Anthony Dowell (Des Grieux), and David Wall (Lescaut),
but by the entire expert supporting cast and corps.