The Hong Kong Ballet | The Nutcracker world premiere

A holiday classic re-imagined for the 21st century The Nutcracker – World Première this Christmas

ballet dancer on pointe at Christmas

Jin Yao Photographer: Almond Chu

<Hong Kong – 15th October 2012> The Hong Kong Ballet has staged The Nutcracker for more than 15 years and it has become a festive favourite for families in Hong Kong. 2012 marks a new beginning – The Hong Kong Ballet has commissioned Australian choreographer Terence Kohler to create a brand-new version of The Nutcracker, with dramaturge Clair Sauran and set and costume designer Jordi Roig. The Nutcracker will have its debut season from the 14th to 26th December 2012 in the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre, with live accompaniment by Hong Kong Sinfonietta under the baton of Judith Yan. This adventure of magical proportions promises a unique experience for the Hong Kong audience.

Terence and his creative team have drawn inspiration from E.T.A. Hoffman’s original tale, The Nutcracker and the Mouse King and created a touching story about growing up and the sacrifices we make for those we love: The story begins as night falls on Christmas Eve, and Uncle Drosselmeyer settles down with Clara and Fritz to tell them a bedtime story. “Once upon a time, The Nutcracker and Ballerina ruled peacefully over their Kingdom…” he begins, and so the mythical tale comes to life. Clara and Fritz learn to recognise the value of loyalty, friendship and determination as they embark on an journey to rescue the Nutcracker and the Ballerina from the clutches of the evil Rat King. Through their charming naivety and creative imagination, the children restore normality to a surreal world.

Terence Kohler, the choreographer said “When Madeleine Onne first approached me to create a new version of the Nutcracker back in 2009, I spent a considerable amount of time with my team exploring the notion of tradition. With so many different productions around the world, how does one update a beloved Christmas tale without turning purely to modernisation? Using Tchaikovsky’s epic score as our starting point, we have returned back to E.T.A.Hoffmann’s “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” to give us hints and clues to shape our magical journey. As the story progresses, we have devised theatrical inventions that will shift the audience’s perspective in an attempt to bring an entirely new visual experience to a beloved classic – one that we hope will inspire a new generation of theatregoers to embrace the magic of the Christmas tradition.”

Madeleine Onne, Artistic Director, added “It is not as easy to find young choreographers of today that are willing to create a classic story ballet — Terence Kohler is the extraordinary choreographer with a unique style that makes the dancers look their best. With his team of loyal collaborators such as Jordi Roig and Clair Sauran, they will create a new tailor-made version of the Ballet that will be a joy for both the eyes and soul. Terence’s fresh choreography and Jordi’s costumes which combine classical ballet design and a taste of the 21st century will undoubtedly make The Nutcracker a new favorite for the Hong Kong audience and a perfect introduction to the rich cultural life of Hong Kong.”

The Nutcracker is by far the most extravagant production that The Hong Kong Ballet has ever staged; research and preparation has been underway since 2010 to bring the production come to life. Some of the sets, which are influenced by the post Victorian era and the colonial sentiment of Hong Kong, were built under close supervision to ensure perfect artistry and craftsmanship.

In addition, for the first time in its history, the Company has cast amateur children ballet dancers to play a key role in the production. Unlike other children’s roles in the traditional production of The Nutcracker, the role of Clärchen – Clara’s doll – will be instrumental in the plot development of the ballet and the role demands extraordinary technique and acting ability. Children ballet dancers were nominated by their ballet schools in Hong Kong, and they underwent 2 private auditions with the Choreographer Terence Kohler, Artistic Director Madeleine Onne and The Hong Kong Ballet’s Artistic team. Just 4 children ranging from age 6-9 were finally chosen to perform the role in the 14 performances.

Debut season will comprise 14 performances from 14th – 26th December 2012. The brand-new production, with an entirely fresh look and feel, will be accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s magical score, performed live by the Hong Kong Sinfonietta under the baton of Judith Yan. Suitable for ages 3 and above.

The Nutcracker

Choreographer: Terence Kohler
Composer: Pytor Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Dramaturge: Clair Sauran
Set and Costume Designer: Jordi Roig
Assistant Set and Costume Designer: Annamaria Cattaneo
Orchestra: Hong Kong Sinfonietta
Conductor: Judith Yan

A series of Programme Plus activities designed for children and families alike will be held during the performance weeks, including:

Behind The Scenes: The Nutcracker – A BRAND-NEW VERSION!
Pre-performance Talk
Pre-performance Workshop
Backstage Tour
Autograph Session
Make A Christmas Wish
Fun Christmas Body Art

About Terence Kohler
Terence Kohler was born in Sydney, Australia. He studied Performing Arts at The McDonald College and in 2002 received a scholarship to the Academy of Dance in Mannheim, Germany. In 2004, Terence was engaged as both a dancer and resident choreographer at the Badisches Staatstheater where he created full-length ballets including Anna Karenina and The Temple Dancer as well as numerous one-act ballets including just before falling, Intermezzo for 20, transcended, in the near distance and Empty Frames.

In 2007 Terence was awarded the German Dance Prize “Future” award for choreography, and was nominated as Most Promising Choreographer in the ballettanz magazine. In 2009 created 11:11 for the Royal Ballet of Flanders which was nominated for the prestigious Benois de la Danse in Moscow.

As Choreographer in Residence at the Bavarian State Ballet he has created Once Upon an Ever After, ONE:third, Daphnis et Chloé and a full-length murder mystery ballet entitled Série noire. He also participated in the National Ballet of China’s first ever Choreographic Workshop, creating a one-act ballet entitled TAKE YOUR TIME. Recently he has created Cinderella – A Tragic Tale for the Finnish National Ballet and RHETORIC for the West Australian Ballet.

About Jordi Roig
Jordi Roig was born in Lleida, Spain. From an early age he started to work in the field of plastic arts under the strong influence of his father, an artist well known for his paintings of the ballet world. Jordi Roig studied scenic arts, puppetry and dance at the Institut del Teatre in Barcelona. In early 1987, he stopped dancing in order to devote all his time to costume and set design. In the same year, he was invited to exibit his work at the IV Biennale de Paris. Further studies brought him together with renowned costume designer and art director, Ezio Frigerio.

Jordi Roig has created sets and costumes for productions including Nureyev’s Swan Lake, Malakhov’s Die Bajadere, Maskenball, Cinderella and La Péri, Spoerli’s Coppélia, Les Indes Galantes and Don Quixote. Jordi Roig has worked for directors, choreographers and companies such as Marcia Haydée, Vladimir Malakhov, Rudolf Nureyev, Heinz Spoerli, Manuel Legris, Victor Ullate, Renato Zanella, Terence Kohler, Stuttgart Ballet, Wienner Staatsoper, Vienna New Year’s Concert, Staatsoper Dresden, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Introdans, Deutsche Oper Berlin, Staatsoper unter den Linden, Teatre Nacional de Catalunya, Bayerische Staatsoper and the Finnish National Opera.

The Nutcracker

Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

14-16, 22-24.12.2012
15-16, 22-23, 25-26.12.2012
$1000 (VIP), $600, $400, $260,   $140


20-21.12.2012 7:30pm
$580, $480, $320, $220, $120

Tickets available at URBTIX from 15 October 2012
Ticketing Enquiries 2734 9009
Credit card booking 2111 5999
Programme Enquiries 2105 9724 / [email protected]


The Nutcracker – Programme Plus!

Behind The Scenes: The Nutcracker– A BRAND-NEW VERSION!

Find out more about this brand-new production of The Nutcracker! Artistic Director Madeleine Onne and choreographer Terence Kohler will share with the audience the ideas and inspirations behind this ballet. There will also be a preview performed by the Company’s dancers.

Date: 27.11.2012
Time: 7:30PM-8:45PM
Venue: GR3, 8/F, Grand Theatre Backstage

Suitable for ages 6 and above. Conducted in English. Free admission.
Limited audience capacity, advanced registration required.
Registration & Enquiries 2105 9723 / [email protected]

Pre-performance Talk

Date: 14.12.2012
Time: 6:50PM
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

The programme is about 20 minutes long. Conducted in English with Cantonese translation.

Pre-performance Workshop

Designed for children aged 4 to 8, this fun workshop uses creative images, movement and handicrafts to inspire children’s understanding of the story and interest in ballet. No previous dance experience is necessary.

Workshop I – Date: 15.12.2012 Time: 10:30AM-11:30AM
Workshop II – Date: 15.12.2012 Time: 12:00PM-1PM
Venue: GR2, 8/F, Grand Theatre Backstage
Fee: $70 each
Quota: 40 for each group

Conducted in Cantonese and English. Advanced registration required.
Registration & Enquiries

Backstage Tour

Date: 22.12.2012
Time: After matinée performance
Venue: Grand Theatre Backstage, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Only for ticket holders who are Friends of The Hong Kong Ballet or The Hong Kong Ballet Junior Guild members.
Advanced registration required.

Make Your Christmas Wish

Write down your Christmas wish and hang it on our special Christmas Wishing Tree located at the Level 2 Foyer during selected performances.

Date: 20-25.12.2012
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Autograph Session

Date: 15.12.2012
Time: After matinée performance
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Limited places available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Fun Christmas Body Art

Temporary tattoos with festive themes – guaranteed fun for children aged 3 to 12.

Date: 23.12.2012
Time: After matinée performance
Venue: Level 2 Foyer, Hong Kong Cultural Centre

Limited places available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

All activities are for The Nutcracker ticket holders only, except “Behind The Scenes: The Nutcracker– A BRAND-NEW VERSION!” which is open to the public.

About The Hong Kong Ballet

One of the premier classical ballet companies in Asia, The Hong Kong Ballet is becoming internationally recognised as a world-class institution with an identity that fully reflects the unique vitality of Hong Kong. The Company turns 33 in 2012, and over time has evolved into a vibrant performing arts organisation with accomplished dancers, a strong repertoire, and sparkling, technically challenging productions.

The Company’s artistic team is led by Artistic Director Madeleine Onne, with over 40 dancers originating from all over the world. The Company performs a repertoire that combines classical masterpieces and acclaimed contemporary works from the 19th to 21st centuries, as well as new commissions. Since 1997, The Hong Kong Ballet has raised its international profile by conducting over 20 tours; in the summer of 2012, The Hong Kong Ballet toured the United States and Canada, performing at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival and in Aspen, Montreal and Santa Fe. An integral part of the Company’s activities is an extensive education and community outreach programme, which brings the art of ballet to students as well as to the wider community of Hong Kong.

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