Even though, it seems hard to believe, at the beginning it was supposed to be a duet. Searching for its content, formula, essence, what it could and could not be on stage, we got to the fantastically rich tradition of classical ballet and within it, to the incredible world of The Nutcracker, the balletic icon. The topic of a duet had to step down then to the benefit of the topic of the monumental ritual, which The Nutcracker is – both its staging and its watching. It is the most popular ballet of all times, more popular even than The Swan Lake (also by Tchaykovski). Staged and performed usually at Christmas time, it tells a story of a Christmas Eve at a bourgeois house and the following fairy tale-like travel of the main characters around the world of sweets, fairies, dancing flowers and snowflakes, always generating crowds of audience storming the opera houses all over the world.
The story-libretto, always differs, sometimes even fundamentally, depending on the staging. In the world of ballet, the story line and characters are treated, as it turns out, rather liberally, as opposed to dance and music braided together in the inseparable duet. Such an approach is different from the rules of creation adopted by contemporary dance, which on one hand is very refreshing, on the other becomes a very specific challenge. Nut. Squirrel. lays the end of the processing of that challenge. The Christmas atmosphere, Christmas Eve, dreamy travel, dance and music merged together are concepts we worked on. The creative process came down also to asking questions: which atmosphere? which Christmas Eve? which music and which dance? and finally, who is a squirrel and who is a nut? (which is an attempt to address the power of gender qualification achieved by a ballet costume). At the end we got a dance, a picture of X-mas and individuals celebrating it differently from the classical one, but maybe closer to the experience of the audience.
conceived and choreographed by: Rafał Dziemidok
performed by: Piotr Chudzicki, Rafał Dziemidok, Magdalena Jędra, Agnieszka Noster, Krzysztof Skolimowski, Aleksandra Ścibor
choreographic advisor: Jacek Owczarek
lights, space, costumes: Ewa Garniec
music: Alexander Balanescu
photo: Kailai Chen
produced by: Art Stations Foundation (Poznań), Teatr Wielki (Poznań), Teatr Wytwórnia (Warszawa), SDK (Warszawa)
premiere: 25 August 2010, Hajdpark Festival, Warszawa, Poland