Inspired by L'Abbé Prévost’s legendary heroes, Kenneth MacMillan expresses his fascination for offbeat characters and dramatic subjects. The choreographer faithfully follows the novel’s plot and reconstructs the tragic story of the sensual yet naïve creature who is more victim than architect of her own fate. In Regency Paris, bourgeois society gorges itself on luxury and easy pleasures. Carried off in this whirlwind, Manon is unable to resist temptation and she drags down the faithful Des Grieux with her in her fall. The choreographer constructs his ballet on a mosaic of extracts from Massenet finding in the music all the drama, freshness and romanticism necessary for this grand fresco in dance. The crowd and ball scenes follow on from spirited pas de deux right up to the ballet’s sublime yet tragic conclusion.