For many people, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s classical ballet adventure is an indispensable part of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Next year, we will be welcoming the Tivoli Ballet Theatre with their fabulous version, with sets and costumes created by Her Majesty Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. This promises to be a production that evokes a delightful Christmas atmosphere for the entire family.
TIVOLI COMES TO MALMÖ
The Nutcracker is based on E.T.A. Hoffmann’s uncanny tale of a nutcracker that comes to life and takes a young girl on a journey to a magical world. The ballet has been popular with audiences since its premiere in Saint Petersburg in 1892, regardless of the version presented.
Choreographed by the director of the Tivoli Ballet Theatre, Peter Bo Bendixen, this version premiered in 2012 and this will be the first time it has been presented away from its home stage. Bendixen’s version of the ballet begins with traditional Yule festivities in nineteenth-century Copenhagen.
It is Christmas Eve and Clara’s family has invited a number of prominent guests to their home, including the famous author of fairy tales Hans Christian Andersen, August Bournonville, ballet master at the Royal Danish Ballet, and Tivoli director Bernhard Olsen.
After Clara has fallen asleep beside the tree with a nutcracker doll in her arms, all of her impressions of the evening come back to her in a dream. The nutcracker comes to life and together they are transported to Tivoli, where Clara is shown round by characters from the commedia dell’arte, Harlequin, Colombina och Pierrot, who are familiar figures from Tivoli and pantomime.
Clara goes on a series of strange adventures. Living toys led by the Nutcracker fight against the evil Mouse King and his army of mice. With Clara’s help, they emerge triumphant. She also meets the Sugar Plum Fairy, dancing snowflakes, flowers and other creatures before returning to reality.
THE TIVOLI BALLET THEATRE
Copenhagen’s famous Tivoli Gardens has its own ballet company with 20 classically trained dancers from around the world. The company often produces dance performances based on the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen but he Nutcracker, which is based on a story by E. T. A. Hoffmann, is one of the most popular ballets in the company’s repertoire and has been revived several times.
Queen Margrethe has been the company’s in-house set designer for some 20 years, creating sets and costumes for many of the Tivoli Ballet Theatre’s productions, including The Nutcracker.