Information

Ballet in two acts after the story by E. T. A. Hoffmann - 1971

Choreography John Neumeier · Composer Peter I. Tschaikowsky

Thursday, 14. January 2021
07:30 pm – 09:55 pm
Nationaltheater

Duration est. 2 hours 25 minutes · 1. Akt (est. 07:30 pm - 08:25 pm ) · Interval (est. 08:25 pm - 08:55 pm ) · 2. Akt (est. 08:55 pm - 09:50 pm )

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Dates & Tickets

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Cast

Choreography
John Neumeier
Set Design
Jürgen Rose
Music
Peter I. Tschaikowsky
Conductor
Robertas Šervenikas

Konsul Stahlbaum
N.N.
Frau Konsul Stahlbaum
N.N.
Marie, ihre Tochter
N.N.
Louise, ihre Schwester, eine Ballerina
N.N.
Fritz, ihr Bruder, ein Kadett
N.N.
Ballettmeister Drosselmeier
N.N.
Günther, Anführer der Kadetten
N.N.
  • Soloists and corps de ballet of the Bavarian State Ballet
  • Bayerisches Staatsorchester

Cast for all dates

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Media

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DER NUSSKNACKER: Bildergalerie

Der Nussknacker: Ensemble (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl)
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DER NUSSKNACKER: Bildergalerie

Der Nussknacker: Ensemble (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl)
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Ballet
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DER NUSSKNACKER: Bildergalerie

Der Nussknacker: Ensemble (Foto: © Wilfried Hösl)
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DER NUSSKNACKER: Bildergalerie

Der Nussknacker: Dmitrii Vyskubenko (Kadett) (Foto: ©...
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DER NUSSKNACKER: Bildergalerie

Der Nussknacker: Prisca Zeisel (Louise), Jonah Cook...
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Der Nussknacker: Prisca Zeisel (Louise), Emilio Pavan...
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Der Nussknacker: Nancy Osbaldeston (Marie) (Foto: © Oliver...
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Der Nussknacker: Marta Navarete Villalba (Der chinesische...
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Is The Nutcracker merely a Christmas tale? No, not necessarily - A winter tale, perhaps. Most of all, the nutcracker is a birthday present for Marie! John Neumeier chooses to tell the poetic fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by E.T.A. Hoffmann in a different way. “A new classic was born”, said Dorion Weickmann, “an everlasting staple of ballet repertory full of insights on human relationships that were, and are still, highly relevant in society.” Neumeier said in 1975, only four years after giving this all-time favorite family classic a fresh face. The American choreographer, then and now artistic director of the Hamburg Ballet, reduced the old-fashioned tale to its essential message: Marie is growing up - with all the emotions, conflicts and feelings that this laborious process entails. With innate drama, baroque elegance and clever humor, Neumeier created a tableau that is far from Hoffmann’s original tale. His The Nutcracker boldly comments on the state of our society, it is a family portrait and a story of the rite of passage. Moreover, it’s a deep bow of respect to the high art of classical ballet. None other than Petipa himself whisks away Marie to the foreign (dream-) world of the theater. There, she encounters and surrenders to the charm of famous ballets characters – but rest assured: the audience is right with her on that.

 

Act I

1st Scene:
Marie's Birthday
Marie turns 12 years old – an age where playing with dolls is no longer of interest. Her brother Fritz, a cadet, brings his comrades while Marie´s sister Louise, a prima ballerina of the court theatre, is accompanied by ballet master Mr. Drosselmeier.
Cadet Günther, the spokesman of the regiment and a dear friend of Fritz, gives Marie a nutcracker doll for her birthday, while Mr. Drosselmeier hands Marie a pair of pointe shoes as a present. She is mesmerized by the ballet master, and has a secret crush on the handsome Günther.

2nd Scene: Marie's Dream – The Rehearsal
Once the party guests have left the house, Marie returns to the living room with her nutcracker doll in hands to secretly try on the pointe shoes. She is startled by a vision of Mr. Drosselmeier. In her dream, he introduces her to the magical and mysterious world of the theatre. Marie is enchanted by this environment. She is rejoined by Günther, who is a soloist at the court theatre ballet and dances with him on pointe. Marie becomes part of an ensemble rehearsal.

Act II

3rd Scene:
Marie's Dream – The Performance
Drosselmeier shows Marie how a performance is created: The empty stage fills with settings and people preparing to perform. Drosselmeier demonstrates different divertissements and occasionally joins the ensemble. Even Marie´s brother Fritz appears as a dancer. The performance culminates in a grand finale after which the theatre world suddenly disappears – Marie is awakened and has to part with her dream.

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Biographies

John Neumeier was born in 1942 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he received his first dance training. He continued his dance studies in Chicago as well as at Marquette University in Milwaukee where he created his first choreographic works. After further ballet study both in Copenhagen and at The Royal Ballet School in London, John Cranko invited him in 1963 to join Stuttgart Ballet, where he progressed to Soloist and continued his choreographic development.

In 1969, Ulrich Erfurth appointed Mr. Neumeier Director of Ballett Frankfurt, where he soon caused a sensation due to his new interpretations of such well-known ballets as The Nutcracker and Romeo and Juliet. In 1973, he joined The Hamburg Ballet as Director and Chief Choreographer and, under his direction, The Hamburg Ballet became one of the leading ballet companies on the German dance scene and soon received international recognition.

As a choreographer, Mr. Neumeier has continually focused on the preservation of ballet tradition, while giving his works a modern dramatic framework. His ballets range from new versions of evening-length story ballets to musicals and to his symphonic ballets, especially those based on Gustav Mahler’s compositions, as well as his choreographies to sacred music. His latest creation for The Hamburg Ballet, Christmas Oratorio I-VI, premiered in 2013.

Mr. Neumeier holds the Dance Magazine Award (1983), Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and French Order of Arts and Letters and the Legion of Honour. In 2006, he was awarded the prestigious Nijinsky Award for Lifetime Achievement. He received the Herbert von Karajan Musikpreis in 2007 and the Deutscher Jubiläums Tanzpreis in 2008. In 2007, he was made an honorary citizen of the city of Hamburg. In November 2012, he accepted the Order of Friendship of the Russian Federation.

Neumeier established the John Neumeier Foundation in February 2006 with the aim to preserving and eventually making open his collection of dance and ballet-related objects to the public. The Foundation will maintain and secure his repertoire and related materials for the city of Hamburg.

In 2011, Neumeier founded Germany's National Youth Ballet. The young company of eight dancers is based at the Ballettzentrum in Hamburg but finds its performing spaces outside to the Hamburg Opera. In addition to international touring this creative young company dances in schools, retirement homes and prisons.

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