Ballet in two acts «The Nutcracker»

04 December, Wednesday, 19:30

December 4, 19:31 at the Mariinsky Theater will be shown the ballet The Nutcracker in two acts.

The world of this Nutcracker was created by the designer Mihail Chemiakin. Chemiakin not only produced the sketches for the costumes and sets, he also conceived the images of the characters, dictating to the choreographer the nature of the movements, and all of the miraculous transformations in this theatrical tale are the fruits of his imagination. In the colourful phantasmagoria of Chemiakin's production, adorned with masks with long noses – neither people nor mice – the dramatism and unease of Tchaikovsky's score is enhanced. In this ballet, inspired by Hoffmann's incredible imagination, there is no room for peaceful domestic comfort or the typical harmony of classical dance – in the pre-festive chaos in the kitchen rats are discovered, tasting the cheeses and sausages that have been prepared for Christmas dinner, while flies and bees swarm around the sweet shop. The designer has presented "the circumstances of enduring, comfortable and 'tasty' bourgeois life" with the meticulousness of an eager documentary-maker – not a single detail of the kitchen, be it the perforated spoons or ladles, wreaths of garlic or ribs hanging among other carcass parts, have escaped the designer's attention.

Neither is the audience left bored for a single second – when looking at the touching details of the props, sets and costumes children will be charmed with the readily recognisable everyday items, while adults will smile at their - at times - unexpected use in a children's tale. "The task of the new production of The Nutcracker," Chemiakin says, "was to restore the spirit of Hoffmann to the tale with its elements of grotesque humour, peculiarities and transformations; to combine the graphic elements with Tchaikovsky's musical dramatism. And in a way to revive the original libretto by Petipa, which over the years had become contracted and semi-forgotten. As a rule, the velvety mice in numerous productions have been unable to instil either fear or sympathy in children today. Already in the 1920s the mice had been replaced by rats (in particular, with Fyodor Lopukhov, Hoffmann's Mouse Queen and her son were transformed into rats), as their behaviour in both the tale and the ballet more closely resembles the behaviour of rats, those strange and mysterious creatures. In my production I decided to 'humanise' them. They are a royal family, a rat aristocracy, the military and the common people."

Running time 2 hours 10 minutes
The Performance has one intermission
Age category 6+

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