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Cancelled: Nussknacker und Mausekönig

OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
February 29, March 05 19:30, 06, 10, 20, 24, 29, April 03 (at 19:00 unless shown)
Performers
Ballett Zürich
Paul ConnellyConductorMar 10, 20, 24, 29, Apr 03
Yannis PouspourikasConductorFeb 29, Mar 05, 06
Rufus DidwiszusSet Designer
Buki ShiffCostume Designer
Philharmonia Zürich
Dominik SlavkovskyDancer
Michelle WillemsDancer
Daniel MulliganDancer
Alexander JonesDancer
Yen HanDancer
Matthew KnightDancer
Ina CallejasAccordion
Giulia TonelliDancer
Elizabeth WisenbergDancer

Featuring Piotr Tchaikovsky’s catchy music, The Nutcracker is one of the most popular works in the ballet repertoire. The plot is based on a fairy tale by the Romantic author E.T.A. Hoffmann. In conventional choreographies, however, this is only apparent in a very simplified, smoothened form. In his acclaimed version for the Ballett Zürich, Christian Spuck returns to the darkly romantic fantasy inherent to the original version of E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story. The choreographer has reintegrated the convoluted internal episodes and flashbacks into the plot and, for example, also tells the tale of hard nut, Krakatuk, in which E.T.A. Hoffmann explains the history of the Nutcracker Prince, who has stiffened into a wooden doll. This is usually omitted from the ballet.

Furthermore, in order to develop a compelling narrative thread, Christian Spuck has broken down Tchaikovsky’s music into its constituent parts and recombined them in a completely new way, placing them in altered dramatic contexts and altering their mood. A harmless Christmas ballet thus becomes a puzzle that masterfully jumps back and forth between several levels of reality, merges reality with imagination, and introduces other Hoffmann figures to the action, such as the wicked Frau Mauserinks and Princess Pirlipat, who has in the meantime been turned into an ugly nut monster. The poetically fantastical production was not only acclaimed at the Opernhaus Zürich, but also enthusiastically received at a guest performance given by the Ballett Zürich at Moscow’s legendary Bolshoi Theatre.

Michelle Willems and Dominik Slavkovsky © Gregory Batardon
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