Manon and Des Grieux are coveted roles: technically demanding and complex characters.
I asked American, Melissa Hough who dances with Osiel Gouneo, and Dutch dancer, Douwe Dekkers, who partners Eugenie Skilnand, to give me their views on playing the characters.
‘Des Grieux is a complex character’, said Douwe, ‘and it depends very much how your Manon decides to play the character. Eugenie and I spent a lot of time, not only rehearsing, but talking about how she will play Manon and how I would react.’
Melissa took a different line. ‘The book is narrated by Des Grieux. It’s all about his feelings, what happens to him because of this woman. And in Manon’s story … well I don’t think he was ever meant to be in her story. He is sort of a glitch. Once he enters, her fate is sealed and it becomes the fatal love story.’