Viet Nam News
HCM CITY — The HCM City Ballet Symphony Orchestra and Opera (HBSO) will open the Christmas season this week with the ballet The Nutcracker at the Opera House this week, featuring a conductor from Norway and dancers from Japan.
Based on the story The Nutcracker and the Mouse King by German author E.T.A. Hoffmann, the ballet features the dream of the little girl Clara and her adventures with a nutcracker, a gift from her godfather.
The ballet is choreographed by Johanne Jakhelln Constant, the art director of the Moving Art Theatre in Bodo, Norway, who worked with the HBSO to premiere the work in 2011.
A rousing success, the play has been presented every Christmas season in HCM City.
This year, the two-act work will feature Japanese dancer Naoki Tomikawa (as Cavaliar) and Yuki Hiroshige (as Dewdrop).
Tomikawa studied classical ballet and graduated from the National Vaganova Ballet School in Russia in 1991. He has worked for the New National Theatre and Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theater in Japan, and is now a member of the Volks theater Rostock in Germany.
Hiroshige began practicing ballet at the age of 11, and began studying at the Australian Ballet School in 1993. She worked as a solo dancer at the New National Theatre from 1996, and later performed at Noriko Kobayashi Ballet Theater from 2005.
The ballet will also highlight Vietnamese ballet stars, including Hồ Phi Điệp (the Nutcracker), Đỗ Hoàng Khang Ninh (Clara), and Đàm Đức Nhuận (Mr Drosselmeyer).
Child dancers from the Sasa Ballet and HBSO dancers will perform as well.
Choreographer Nguyễn Phúc Hùng, the ballet’s general director, said: “This time, more moves will be added to the ballet. I made some changes in background settings, decorations as well as the lightning effect to enhance the magical and shimmering feeling of the work.”
Hùng, a graduate of the Netherlands’ Fontys Dance Academy, has choreographed several Vietnamese contemporary dances.
The ballet’s music score composed by Tchaikovsky will be performed by the HBSO Female Choir and Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Magnus Loddgard.
Loddgard studied conducting with leading professionals in Norway and Germany. He joined the Norwegian Opera in 2005, and became chief conductor of the Ensemble Neon in 2009.
He has conducted several operas, ballets and theatre productions with the Norwegian Opera and Ballet and with regional theatres.
He worked with the HBSO in the ballet The Nutcracker in 2012, and the opera The Magic Flute in 2013 and 2014.
The Nutcracker will begin at 8pm on December 8, 9 and 10 at the Opera House, 7 Lam Sơn Square, in District 1. Tickets are available at the venue. — VNS