Libretto by Marius Petipa after the fairytale by E. T. A. Hoffmann revised by Nacho Duato
Choreographer: Nacho Duato
Stage Designer: Jérôme Kaplan
Lighting Designer: Brad Fields
Costume Technology: Alla Marusina
Choreographer’s Assistants: Tony Fabre, Gentian Doda
The performance features the Perezvony («Chimes») Choir of the Glinka Children’s School of Arts
Director of the Choir: Larisa Yarutskaya
The text in Act I is read by Nikolay Burov
ballet in two acts
music by Pyotr Tchaikovsky
Premiere of the production: 12 December 2013
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker is considered a symbol of life’s magical transformations and constant renewal. The story of how a wooden doll became an enchanted prince, who, with the help of a kind and selfless girl named Masha, defeated the evil Mouse King, is not just a beautiful fairytale. It’s a story of time’s passing and how a carefree childhood gives way to the bright sorrow of youth and the dreams of love and harmony.
The Nutcracker, staged by Nacho Duato, constituted „the choreographer’s heartfelt farewell to Russia.“ Together with French stage designer Jérôme Kaplan, the Spanish choreographer „created an homage to the city that astounded him with its grandeur, its artists, and its audiences.“ The creators of the ballet chose to place the action in pre-revolutionary Russia, the Silver Age of Russian culture. After the premiere, critics noted that „Duato does not play with the classic, but tries in earnest to follow its style and strict canon,“ they admired the „free breathing plastique“ and the „bright discoveries“ of the choreographer who, in his work on the ballet, managed to harness „genuine inspiration.“
Christmas Eve. In a few hours, the clock will strike midnight — a time of magic and of dreams. Our story begins as the loving but mysterious uncle Drosselmeyer gathers all the children at the family party to give them Christmas presents: a beautiful Princess, a handsome Prince and a wicked Mouse King. Finally, the surprise gift, the Nutcracker doll, Drosselmeyer gives to his godchild Masha. Masha is fascinated by the Nutcracker. She cuddles and comforts her favorite toy. As the evening grows late, the guests depart and the Stahlbaum family retires for the evening. Masha, worried about her beloved Nutcracker, sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms. As the clock strikes midnight strange things begin to happen. The toys around the tree come to life while the room fills with an army of mice, led by the wicked Mouse King. As the Nutcracker awakens, he leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice. The Mouse King drops to the floor and the mice run away, carrying off their leader’s lifeless body. The Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Masha on a journey to the Magic Land, where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.
The toys of the Magic Land are celebrating the victory over the Mouse King. They dance different dances from all over the world. Masha and Prince are happy. Masha knows that she has to leave this wonderful dream but it will stay with her forever.
The celebrated French set designer Jerome Kaplan is joining Nacho Duato to work on a new production of The Nutcracker. A true Parisian, he brings a ‘family nostalgia’ for Russian culture to his sets and costumes for ballet.