Parents Guide for
Maurice Bejart's Nutcracker (2000) (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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Sex & Nudity

Definitely not for children. They will not be able to understand the storyline of this version and it is so disagreeable and downright strange that parents won't even want to explain it to them. Parents should be prepared for some material that they probably will regard as truly offensive, especially in a production of what is usually considered a family-friendly ballet. This "adaptation" is loaded with kinky sexual innuendo and suggestive images not found in any other "Nutcracker", more so than in the Matthew Bourne version, which is very "sexed up". This "Nutcracker" makes Mark Morris's "The Hard Nut" look like a family-friendly Walt Disney film.

It completely abandons the ballet's original story and characters, turning into a presumably autobiographical account of a boy named Bim's extremely strange relationship with his mother. No one even remotely resembles Clara, Drosselmeyer, or the Nutcracker himself. There is no Sugar Plum Fairy in the usual sense, although there is a beautiful woman identified as Sugar Plum. All that really remains of the ballet is Tchaikovsky's music, and even that is tampered with. But that is not the greatest liberty that it takes with the original.

Supposedly this production incorporates incidents from choreographer's Maurice Bejart's life story. An incestuous subtext appears throughout , as well as a homosexual one. Most of the male dancers are clad only in underwear shorts throughout much of the ballet. At the point at which the Nutcracker usually turns into a prince and dances with Clara for the first time, a gigantic statue of a woman's naked torso opens up and begins emitting a colored light. Out of this emerges Bim's supposedly dead mother, alive and well, and clad in a nightdress. The nearly naked Bim and his mother then proceed to dance a highly sensual and seductive pas de deux to the music that would normally accompany Clara's first dance with the Prince. At the beginning of Act II, we see dozens of nearly nude couples in positions suggesting that they are about to make love. Into this group arrive Bim and his mother; she proceeds to lie flat on her back on the floor and Bim lies on top of her, suggesting incest.

To make this production more palatable romantically, Bip is shown as a young man of about eighteen almost throughout, but his mother never ages. So when we see them dancing together, we do not see a teenager dancing and doing suggestive things with a woman twenty years older than him, we see a teenager dancing and doing suggestive things with a beautiful young woman not much older than Bip.

Oddly enough, Bejart could not bring himself to tamper with the famous Act II Pas de Deux, so, other than being performed by dancers clad in black, this selection uses Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov's original 1892 choreography, and resembles the authentic "Nutcracker" more than any other scene in the ballet. It is not danced by Bim and his mother.

Violence & Gore

None.

Profanity

None, but there is an outtake in which the dancer portraying Felix the cat utters the word "s**t" .

None. All shock value in this production is restricted to the suggestion of kinky sex.

Page last updated by critic-2, 2 years ago
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