For Christmas 2009, Royal Copenhagen asked six actors and ballet dancers from the Royal Danish Theater to interpret various dances from the classical Christmas fairytale “The Nutcracker” into fantastic, fabulous and magical tablescapes. Each table shown below depicts a specific dance (details below each picture).
Helle Hertz pays tribute to the legendary and poetic Chinese Dance from The Nutcracker in a riot of red, orange and purple. Surrounded by amazing costumes from the Royal Danish Theatre, a tremendous lacquer red table materialises, laid for a tasteful and spectacular Christmas Dinner with White Elements, Royal Copenhagen’s newest service, which has been designed by Louise Campbell. The fine fanlike edging on the plates fits in perfectly with the Chinese theme and provides a beautiful background for the scarlet fans, which contrast with and complement the simple white service.
In one of the loveliest rooms in the building Henning Jensen has laid the table for a majestic Christmas dinner with Flora Danica, the world’s most exclusive porcelain. The imposing table is graced by a regal array of the service’s striking ice cream domes, tureens, bowls and dishes, each of which depicts its own particular Danish plant. The hand-painted service dates from 1790 and was originally created as a gift for Catherine the Great, Empress of Russia, so it chimes with the Russian theme of Henning Jensen’s Christmas table.
In the second act of The Nutcracker Clara, the main character, arrives in the Land of Sweets, where she is received by the Sugar Plum Fairy. In the fairytale Land of Sweets Clara looks for her prince, but everyone she meets is busy preparing for that evening’s circus performance, which has Clara’s beloved uncle, Drosselmeyer, as the ringmaster. Kristen Olesen’s Christmas table recreates in the most marvelous way the spellbinding fairytale ambience in an imaginative scenario with lots of Christmas magic.
In the first act of The Nutcracker one of the places that Clara, the main character, visits on her dream journey is a vast snowy landscape, where she meets the cold Snow Queen and a crowd of dancing snowflakes, who come together in a fairytale snowstorm. Nikolaj Hübbe has chosen to stage his Christmas table with both fairytale and real elements from the world of ballet.
Rose Gad’s Christmas scenario has been inspired by the Waltz of the Flowers, one of the best-known dances from The Nutcracker. In a poetic and personal installation, Rose Gad has chosen to invite the audience behind the scenes into the busy world of a ballerina. It is not unusual for a ballet company to dance all Christmas long, and Rose Gad’s story is about a ballerina touring with The Nutcracker over the festive season. After practice and rehearsal, the ballerina goes back to her hotel room, where she and her boyfriend are to celebrate Christmas Eve together. The table is laid for a delicious Christmas dinner with champagne, caviar, fois gras and rice à l’imperatrice on a beautiful four-poster bed.
Silja Schandorff has chosen to create a Christmas table that pays homage to the Arab Dance, one of the most spectacular in The Nutcracker. In an exotic and personal scenography, which exudes Eastern mystery and the magic of Christmas Night, Silja Schandorff has set her interpretation of the Arab Dance in a luxurious Bedouin tent, where the table is laid for a magical Christmas dinner.
More tablescape design inspiration from Royal Copenhagen: Christmas Tabletop Decorations 2008.
All images copyright of Royal Copenhagen.
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