The Hungarian choreographer Youri Vámos conjures up the Christmas spirit by blending two quintessentially Christmas tales into a single ballet -- a sparkling Christmas gift in dance form.
The establishment of Mr Scrooge, the money-lender, and Herr Drosselmeier's toy shop stand on the same street in 19th-century London and the leading characters of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and those of E. T. A. Hoffman's The Nutcracker take part in the same adventures. Such a thing could happen only in a fairy tale... or in a ballet. Choreographer Youri Vámos, referred to as "dance's best story-teller", decided in 2004 to remodel Tchaikovsky's ballet -- a classic of festive season entertainment bills -- by embedding Dickens' familiar tale within it. The result is a celebration, a redoubling of the Christmas spirit. It's a matter of imagining the theatre as a gift, with its wrapping paper and its gleaming river of red satin, and then opening it and plunging into the magic of tradition.
The Prague National Theatre Ballet, founded in 1883, is the Czech Republic's longest-established and most prestigious dance company. Petr Zusca, its artistic director for the past seven years, has opened the door to new styles and boosted its worldwide renown.
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Part I 45 min
Pause 30 min
Part II 55 min
Total 2 hours 10 min