This story is happening in someone's head. Let's call him Drosselmeier. I can almost see him right here. Yes him, the guy who's waving his arms with the music, that could be Drosselmeier. Or someone else. Or you. Or me. Or them. As long as you have the music in your head and body, the story is happening there too. Like all good stories, this one begins with another story. Before the Story of a Nutcracker there was the Story of a Hard Nut To Crack. This story goes deep into a world where it isn't easy to be different or to put one's identity at stake in the diversity game. Accepting one's identity, going through an identity crisis, having several identities, looking for one's own identity, losing oneself, finding oneself… All these things are like eating a nut: you have to crack the shell before you find what you are looking for.
So this is the story of The Nutcracker, of who he is and how he became what he is. It is also one of best-loved repertoire pieces of the Geneva Ballet, with 65 performances to its credit, seen in 21 different theatres in France, Italy, Germany and Russia, with its last Geneva performance in November 2015. It's therefore high time that the Geneva public got reacquainted with Jeroen Verbruggen's version of The Nutcracker, as “dark and exciting as a witches' coven” (Alexandre Demidoff in Le Temps).
The Belgian choreographer, who lives in Monaco, with his boundless imagination and festive, exuberant and tender vision of dance, delivered much more than just “another Nutcracker” at the Grand Théâtre in 2014. With his idiosyncratic choreographic language, he completely revisited Tchaikovsky's masterpiece, first choreographed in St Petersburg by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov in 1892. Set and dressed by the Parisian fashion duo On aura tout vu (designers Livia Stoianova and Yassen Samouilov) in a baroque/gothic Christmas dream, Verbruggen's Nutcracker gives back her original name of Marie to the young dreamer, who is both upset and fascinated by her budding womanhood. Marie's Christmas visitor Drosselmeier is the crazy ringmaster of her night-time circus and the nut in which she will find the prince that needs her to set him free. The performances of this revival of The Nutcracker by the Ballet du Grand Théâtre will be accompanied by the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande under the direction of Yannis Pouspourikas.