Following the success of The Sleeping Beauty in 1890, Tchaikovsky received a commission for a new ballet from the director of the Imperial Theatres, Ivan Vsevolozhsky. Tchaikovsky decided to work once again with the great choreographer Marius Petipa. This artistic encounter gave birth to a genuine masterpiece: The Nutcracker. This ballet is rightly one of the most popular ballets in the repertoire, a work which has never ceased to be produced and revisited by the successive generations of dancers and choreographers. Besides the exceptional marriage between the music and choreography, the charm exerted on the audience by The Nutcracker has much to do with its plot. Drawing its inspiration from a story written by E.T.A. Hoffmann, The Nutcracker carries the spectator through extraordinary adventures in which a young girl takes part in a battle between mice and gingerbread soldiers before being transported into a wonderful castle.
In this production from 1999, the Soloists and the Ballet of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin give life to the different characters of this fairytale-like story. They are accompanied by the musicians of the Staatskapelle Berlin, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim.Argument:
On Christmas Eve, Marie and her younger brother Fritz are waiting impatiently for their uncle Drosselmeyer, who usually brings with him wonderful gifts. When the clock strikes eight, he eventually arrives. Marie receives from him a nutcracker carved in the shape of a little man. Her brother is jealous, and he breaks her gift. Thankfully, Marie manages to fix it. In the middle of the night, while everyone is sleeping, Marie wakes up to make sure her nutcracker is alright. Suddenly, an extraordinary scene appears before her eyes. An army of mice invades her room. Then a battle begins between the mice and her brother's gingerbread soldiers. To protect her Nutcracker, Marie intervenes and stands between the battle and hert nutcracker. The mice are eventually defeated. To thank the young girl, the nutcracker invites Marie to his wonderful castle where all his subjects have organized a fairytale-like party.
© Photo: Elliott
Choreography by Marius Petipa, new scenic version by Yuri Grigorovich. Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow
Philippe Calvario, Tugan Sokhiev
Rudolf Nureyev – Agnès Letestu (Cinderella), José Martinez (The movie star) – Corps de Ballet de l'Opéra national de Paris