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Tivoli’s Snow Queen – A spellbinding and dramatic ballet

The new ballet put up by Tivoli is a delightful and mesmerizing performance with great music, dancing and acting.

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By Bente D. Knudsen

Beautiful colourful costumes and set designs which delight the eye, teasing mimics between the dancers with scenes sometimes so obviously funny, the audience must laugh out loud, psychedelic yet familiar tones, drama, and intense magnificent dancing.

The Snow Queen is a magical fairy tale ballet in tradition with all that Tivoli stands for, and the ballet certainly is a performance which can delight both adults and children (recommended from the age of six).

It took multiple curtains calls at the opening performance before an ecstatic and elated audience was satisfied.

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Everything comes together in the ballet

The music is composed by Danish musician, Nanna Øland Fabricius, known as Oh Land, whose electropop tones with their mix of synthetic pop, indie and electronic sounds, accompanied at times by soulful singing, fit perfectly with the storyline and dancing it was created for.

And of course, the creative talents of the Danish Queen, who designed the set and costumes, play an important part and ease the audience into the fairy tale world of the Snow Queen.

The Snow Queen is one of famous Hans Christian Andersen’s beloved fairy-tale stories, and the Tivoli version is a new interpretation created by former ballet dancer Yuri Possokhov.

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A journey from a smaller pantomime ballet ensemble 

Three years planning lies behind the new ballet, uniting creative faces that had already worked together.

It is the most important ballet performance ever created by Tivoli and the eighth time the creative talents of Queen Margrethe have been put to play by the amusement park’s ballet ensemble.

The Danish Queen is a great ballet fan and enthusiast and when asked by Tivoli, if she would team up with Oh Land and Yuri Possokhov again (they created the ballet Cinderella for the Tivoli Pantomime theatre) she was delighted.

Head of Tivoli’s ballet ensemble, Peter Bo Bendixen, says that:

“This ballet is a big and important step on the road towards making the Tivoli Ballet even bigger. The performance is of such a format that it requires many people to work together and put in the necessary efforts to make it happen.”

Prior to the opening, nerves were showing, and as Queen Margrethe said at the pre-opening press conference:

“Yes, I have nerves on, it is a big show with many different scenes and at the same time, it must look like a whole with a red line and not go into all directions. It is so fantastic to see what I have created come to life with all three dimensions, music, dancing, and acting.”

The Snow Queen is the story of Gerda and Kay, who as children play together and later fall in love.

Their union is endangered when Kay is abducted by the Snow Queen, so Gerda goes in search of him. On her journey she experiences both good and bad in the form of helpful crows but also frightening and violent encounters in the form of the Snow Queen’s guards.

In her work with the costume designs, the Danish Queen said that she had found inspiration in Hans Christian Andersen’s descriptions. Although his description of the Snow Queen’s guard points in many directions, they ultimately portray something terribly evil and menacing, which is why their costumes had to be designed to be frightening and scary, matching their menacing and terrorising dancing.

They are in stark contrast to the soft tones, colours, flowers and many naturalistic details of the set design and costumes in the other scenes of the ballet.

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The Tivoli Ballet ensemble is composed of 40 dancers of 10 nationalities.

One of the dancers, French Laureline Epaulard, who despite her only 23 years has already been dancing for four years with the Tivoli Ballet, says that she has fallen in love with Copenhagen and with the life and work conditions she has found.

“I have found that as a ballet dancer, I am treated with respect, the working conditions are good, and in general life is not so different from living in Paris. The food is good and I have completely adopted the Danish way of using my bicycle to get around.”

The hardest, she finds, is to get better at speaking Danish, especially as Danes tend to switch to English. A trick to learn more has been to speak Danish with the ballet children, as they cannot (yet) answer back in English.

“I could easily imagine staying for a longer time,” she says.

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The Snow Queen has been heavily promoted and many Danes have already bought tickets. They will not be disappointed.

However, there are still a few seats to be had, and just recently new performances have been put up between Christmas and New Year.

No Danish is needed to follow the performance, however, getting (re) acquainted with the story and plot before can be an advantage.

The entrance to Tivoli is included in the ticket price.

The Tivoli concert hall lies in the heart of Tivoli, with great views of the many Christmas decorations from the upstairs bar area. Inside, the atmosphere is warm and cosy, as the size of the hall, despite holding a large audience, remains intimate.

More information and tickets at Tivoli.dk

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