Mariinsky Theatre Prepares World Premiere of Prologue to Nutcracker

In February, the Mariinsky Theatre will premiere the ballet Princess Pirlipat or Worthiness Punished. It will be staged on February 27 in the framework of the Third International Mariinsky Ballet Festival.

According to the Mariinsky Theatre press-service, the author of the libretto, decorations, and costumes is the renowned artist Mikhail Chemiakin. At his request, composer Sergei Slonimsky wrote music for the ballet. Kirill Simonov is the ballet's choreographer.

The one-act ballet will be an original prologue to The Nutcracker. The story of Drosselmeier's nephew's transformation into the Nutcracker (Drosselmeier enchants Princess Pirlipat) serves as the basis for the ballet's libretto.

The show's authors hope that it will be organically linked with Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker premiered in the Mariinsky Theatre in February, 2001 by Mikhail Chemiakin and Kirill Simonov.

The first attempt to stage Hofmann's Nutcracker and the Mice's King as a ballet dates back to 1930s. Music to the ballet by Fedor Lopukhov was to be composed by Dmitry Shostakovich, but that idea was not realised. For the first time in the theatre history, Mariinsky stages a ballet covering in full the famous tale.

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