Shortly before the 1st Advent, the management of the Berlin State Ballet puzzled us when Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” was canceled due to racism and sexism. With the Chinese and Oriental dolls, two out of five protagonists came under suspicion: the first dance too caricaturally, the second, surrounded by the harem ladies, appear with incorrect brown body make-up. Sanctions were imposed on the fairy tale. The dolls have to stay in the depot until the fault has been rectified.
All those who are difficult to understand were additionally explained that this was done in the interests of the audience, who could not be clear on their own what sins they would fall into while they were enjoying the famous dance festival at the Christmas tree would. Marius Petipa has never been to China or the East, which is why the dances he choreographed should be problematic from the start. Instead of the fallen “nutcracker”, the Berlin children are offered the correct “Don Quixote”, approved after consultation because of its defamation potential (!). At this point it would of course be advisable to also consider possible insulting hints in the fight of the noble Hidalgos against the windmills.
Of course, this radical interpretation of political correctness is repulsive to many. Readers practice irony in the comments. Nevertheless, the process remains anything but amusing. The case vividly demonstrated the degree of bias in common sense that can be achieved in meeting the expectations of the “advanced” part of humanity.
This kind of anti-events gives the impression that with a strong public statement to the oppressed one wants to replace such an important and necessary reappraisal of the colonial crimes and the compensation payments with the pretended “correctness”, which is hardly better than discrimination. By joining the Club of Chosen Moral Apostles at the same time, one could secure a letter of indulgence in one go for not particularly brilliant performances in the future. Not everyone is given the gift of creating an iconic masterpiece at the intersection of three great cultures – the German, the Russian and the French – which has not only been loved but also admired all over the world for over 130 years and from a real Christmas and New Year’s Eve festival is hard to imagine.
Erasing them in the programs is painfully reminiscent of well-known developments from the past and can only cause concern. Isn’t this battle going too far? Who is the next to be expelled from the cultural scene? Should the relevant festival be banned after the “Nutcracker” was banned? Because for our time it will be too traditional …
It is reassuring that the cancel culture, which is gaining momentum in Germany, does not correspond to the majority of the actual mood of the population.
As long as the good old fairy tale is subject to sanctions, we can comfort the revered Berlin audience with the unsurpassed “Nutcracker” as a live broadcast from the best Russian theaters.
I wish you a nice one Advent Season and happy Christmas!