Fri 26.11.2021 Staatsballett Berlin

We love The Nutcracker

THE NUTCRACKER banned? The ultimate Christmas ballet cancelled? In the last few days, various newspapers and social media posts claimed, the Staatsballett Berlin supposedly removed the classic from its repertory without warning. Click here to read why this is not the case, and why it's not part of our programme this year.


Will THE NUTCRACKER be banned/cancelled?
First of all, we can reassure you: THE NUTCRACKER is neither banned nor cancelled. We love the NUTCRACKER! And as a large ballet company, it is our task, indeed our duty, to continue to perform the classics. However, in the summer of 2020 it was already clear that the ballet classic would not be performed in the current season 21/22. This was announced in June 2021 in the season preview (link).

Why is THE NUTCRACKER not part of the 21/22 season?
It was the artistic director's decision not to include THE NUTCRACKER in this year's programme, but DON QUIXOTE, another ballet classic by Marius Petipa in Víctor Ullate's version. As in other seasons before, THE NUTCRACKER is on hiatus and will return in one of the upcoming seasons. In which version, we will announce in due time.

Is THE NUTCRACKER a »clear case of racism«?
We have never claimed that THE NUTCRACKER is racist. However, this what some articles wrongly report. You are welcome to read the interview with director Dr. Christiane Theobald in the Berlin newspaper B.Z. (link), to which all subsequent articles and opinion pieces are based on. We value the craft of both choreographers. Vasily Medvedev and Yuri Burlaka are excellent choreographers and masters when it comes to historical reconstructions. We perceived them as open-minded in regards to critical discourse, and we are looking forward to working with them again.

So what's the deal with the Chinese and Arabian dances?
It was brought to our attention that some parts in our current NUTCRACKER version – a reconstruction of the original from 1892 – could be perceived as discriminating. For example, costumes of the Chinese dance are based on costume drawings from that time, which have a caricaturistic touch that has nothing in common with authentic Chinese culture, thus evoking negative stereotypes. There were already complaints from our Berlin audience in 2015, which we would like to take seriously. Since we also share the desire to show THE NUTCRACKER again, we see it as our duty to take a closer look at a number of questionable parts, because we don't want to simply censor them!

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