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DVD Spotlight

A Question of Taste

Béjart's 'Nutcracker' -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... bears little relation to Tchaikovsky's music ...'

The Nutcracker. © 2003 TDK Recording Media Europe SA

Tchaikovsky did not take readily to the idea of The Nutcracker, and was quite at a loss how to make music for 'The Kingdom of Sweets' in Act 2. He was meanwhile bombarded with detailed instructions by Marius Petipa who was initially engaged on the choreography. For the entry of Drosselmeyer, for instance, there should be a broad movement of sixteen to twenty-four bars, 'a bit frightening but also comic'. But what am I saying? Maurice Béjart, the choreographer for this Châtelet performance, has made the ballet autobiographical to the extent that a main character is his own photo, clear enough from the following extract [watch and listen -- chapter 2, 1:38-2:38].

A scene from the Maurice Béjart's 'The Nutcracker', with the projected image of Maurice Béjart. DVD screenshot © 2000 RM Associates
A scene from the Maurice Béjart's 'The Nutcracker', with the projected image of Maurice Béjart. DVD screenshot © 2000 RM Associates

 

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Copyright © 21 August 2006 Robert Anderson, London UK

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