Jean Christophe Maillot was born in Tours, France, in 1960. He studied dance and piano at the Tours Conservatoire National and then spent three years at Rosella Hightower's International School of Dance in Cannes. In 1977 he won the Prix de Lausanne and the following year was invited to join the Hamburg Ballet by Director John Neumeier. Mr. Maillot rose to the rank of soloist and remained with the company for six years. Returning to Tours in 1983, he was appointed choreographer and Director of the city's Ballet du Grand Théâtre which became a Centre Choregraphique National in 1989. Mr. Maillot choreographed some 20 ballets for the company, among them Romeo and Juliet, Le Voyage d'Hiver and Thème et Quatre Variations. During this period he was also invited to choreograph for Jeune Ballet de France, Ballet du Nord, Ballet du Rhin, Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, Introdans Company (Holland), Rome Opera Ballet and Nederlands Dans Theater. He was honoured with a Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres from the French Minister of Culture, Jack Lang.
In 1993 Her Royal Highness the Princess of Hanover appointed Mr. Maillot as Director of Les Ballets de Monte Carlo. In this new environment, once home to Serge Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes, Mr. Maillot encountered great openness and freedom of expression. He also developed an excellent working relationship with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Monte Carlo putting the seal once and for all on his profound musical sensibility. The position also gave him the opportunity to work with dancers whose accomplishments and technical brilliance allowed him to develop a project initially conceived in Tours, one striving to push classical vocabulary and technique to the limit.
Besides adding new pieces to the company's repertoire, Mr. Maillot staged his own creations including Bêtes Noires, Theme et 4 Variations, Home Sweet Home, Dov'e la Luna, Vers un Pays Sage, Concert d'Anges, Romeo and Juliet (soon to surpass the 100-performance mark), Recto Verso, In Volo, l'Ile and Cinderella. In so doing he established a lasting rapport with his company. His last ballet, The Nutcracker Circus, was created to mark Prince Rainier III's Jubilee and was successfully staged at the Fontvieille Circus Tent in Monaco before more than 20,000 people.
For the Printemps des Arts festival in April 2000 the choreographer created Opus 40 which premiered at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo.
In addition to his activities with Les Ballets de Monte Carlo Mr. Maillot has been a guest choreographer with other companies such as American Ballet Theatre, Stuttgarter Ballett, Essen Ballet, Royal Flanders Ballet, Introdans and Ballet du Grand Théâtre de Genève - an illustrious list that's soon to include the Opéra de Paris.
For six months of each year Mr. Maillot takes his company on tour around the world: London, Paris, Lisbon, Madrid, Cairo, Seoul, New York City, Hong Kong, Manila, Brisbane, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brussels, Tokyo and Geneva among others. The rest of the year the company remains in Monaco rehearsing new works and performing at the Opéra de Monte Carlo.
In 1999, the Principality of Monaco honoured Mr. Maillot with the title of Officier dans l'Ordre du Mérite Culturel on Monaco's National Day November 19.