First night of ballet Hamlet choreographed by Leo MujićBallet — 14. November 2023.
William Shakespeare's famous tragedy Hamlet will be staged at the Croatian National Theatre in Zagreb by choreographer and director Leo Mujić. It is a large-scale ensemble performance based on classical literature that is turned into a narrative ballet performed by the Ballet of the CNT in Zagreb that will have its world premiere on November 17, 2023, at 7.30 p.m.
For me narrative ballets are always a challenge. At the same time, it is something most difficult, interesting and complicated yet most risky because you are coping with classics. You are constantly wondering how a specific work became a classic, how it survived until today and what is the real value of some literary work – therefore, the fact that some work survived for so long is something that inspires awe toward that work and I am giving my best to translate it onto the stage exactly as it is, said the choreographer Leo Mujić and continued that a large number of dancers are engaged in the performance and that some minor dramaturgical alterations were applied - some male roles were entrusted to female dancers.
For more than four centuries, the story about the son who cannot come to terms with the sudden death of his father and to whom the ghost of his father reveals the murderer, does not cease to intrigue and inspire artists all around the world and enchant the spectators of all ages. Hamlet is not only a suspense story, but a great tragedy that poses questions about the meaning of death, revenge, and the battle for the truth. In this work Shakespeare achieved one of the peaks in his career. With an abundance of characters, intrigues, parallel stories and plots, Shakespeare's Hamlet is a timeless masterpiece that offers endless possibilities for interpretation and Leo Mujić found this inspiration for the roles in Hamlet among the dancers of the ballet ensemble: This cooperation and the “exchange“ of ideas and inspirations between the choreographer and the dancer contribute to the success of a performance. I believe that all these people/ artists must keep their right to interpretation because without this additional extension my ideas remain plain. In a way, the dancers are the embodiment of my ideas. I must say that the performative/artistic level in the Zagreb Ballet is very high and I do not need to lower the expectation scale, on the contrary, I have to raise it every time. Many new faces have entered this ensemble, they are all a part of the performance thus, they have positively responded to the challenges put before them.
For ballets Ana Karenina (2014) and The Glembays (2017) performed by the Ballet of the CNT in Zagreb, Leo Mujić was granted the Croatian Theatre Award for best choreography, while the Croatian Theatre Award for the best performance was granted in 2021 to his ballet Pride and Prejudice, and Mujić won the award for the best choreography.