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08.12.2017, 19:30
Deutsche Oper Berlin

19. | 25. | 25. Dec 2017
01. | 03. Jan 2018
The Nutcracker
Choreography and stage direction by Nacho Duato
Music by Peter I. Tchaikovsky
Choreography and stage direction Nacho Duato
Stage design and costumes Jérôme Kaplan
Light design Brad Fields
Orchester Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Chor Kinderchor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Dancing Solisten und Corps de ballet des Staatsballetts Berlin
Musical Direction Robert Reimer
Clara Ksenia Ovsyanick
Nutcracker-Prince Marian Walter

110 minutes incl. 1 break

Learn more: There is a free introduction in German for the audience at the performance venue 45 minutes before each performance, except opening nights, guest performances, and special events. It is prepared and moderated by students of the Free University Berlin as part of the Ballet University program.
When the curtain rises for "The Nutcracker", the audience meets the Stahlbaum family at Christmas eve and the celebration is already in full swing. Guests wear fine robes in the style of the Belle Epoche and move with elegance through a spacious Art Nouveau apartment. Without much ado, Nacho Duato has transferred the plot to the year 1913. This rather unusual time travel – the ballet is normally set in the late 19th  century –  does not only influence the set and costumes design by Jérôme Kaplan, but also the dance movements: The elegant fashion of the early 20th century gives  the ensemble more freedom of movement than the stiff costumes of the previous century. A congenial idea, which also lets a magical Christmas wonderland unfold on stage, full of wooden toys and little sailor suits, which in this way can only be imaged in our most beautiful dreams.
The children are showered with gifts by their godfather Drosselmeier. Among the presents are a prince and a princess but also a fierce Mouse King. Little Clara is especially intrigued by a wooden nutcracker. Soon, the night falls upon the happy crowd; the stars appear on the Christmas sky and fly as shooting stars like snowflakes through the night. But as soon as it is dark, the puppets come to life. Quickly a fight erupts between them, and the Nutcracker has to save little Clara from the attacks of the nasty mouse king. Transformed into a dashing prince the nutcracker takes Clara onto an exotic journey into a magical world, where muffins become mountains and cocktail umbrellas provide shade.
Nacho Duato has based his version of the popular family classic, which premiered at St. Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre in 2013 and was last staged at La Scala, on the novel "The Nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffmann, which was first published in Berlin 200 years ago. The story is much more than just a Christmas tale. It is a story about growing up, which is also reflected in the dance. Already in the first act we see significant differences between the movements of adults and those of the children – while, of course, all parts are danced by the Staatsballett ensemble. When the story unfolds, the movements of the small but perky Clara become more and more mature. Overall, Nacho Duato remained true to the classical movement vocabulary of the ballet, but not without enriching it with his own signature style. Let Christmas begin!

Choreography and stage direction: Nacho Duato
Stage design and costumes: Jérôme Kaplan
Light design: Brad Fields
Orchester: Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Chor: Kinderchor der Deutschen Oper Berlin
Dancing: Solisten und Corps de ballet des Staatsballetts Berlin
Musical Direction: Robert Reimer
Clara: Ksenia Ovsyanick
Nutcracker-Prince: Marian Walter

It is Christmas Eve. In just a few hours the clock will strike midnight – the time of magic and dreams. Our story begins as the loving but mysterious uncle Drosselmeyer gathers all the children at the family party to give them Christmas presents. Finally, Drosselmeyer gives the surprise gift, the Nutcracker doll, to his godchild Clara. The girl is fascinated by the Nutcracker, and cuddles and comforts her favorite toy.
As the evening grows late, the guests depart and the Stahlbaum family retires for the evening. Clara, worried about her beloved Nutcracker, sneaks back to the tree to check on him, falling asleep with him in her arms.
When 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. The Nutcracker awakens and leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice. The Mouse King is killed and the mice run away, carrying off their leader’s lifeless body. The Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Clara on a journey to the Realm of Magic, where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.
The toys of the Realm of Magic are celebrating the victory over the Mouse King. They dance different dances from all over the world. Clara and the Prince are happy. Clara knows that she will have to leave this wonderful dream but also that it will stay with her forever.