Is The Nutcracker the only Christmas ballet? “No”, is the answer from resident choreographer Alan Lucien Øyen, who has created a playful Christmas performance for Second House, together with dancers from the Norwegian National Ballet and actors from Øyen’s own company winter guests. Somewhere in the meeting between Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”, Sufjan Stevens' “That Was The Worst X-mas Ever”, and other new and old Christmas songs, Jingle Horse! arises as a Christmas collage for the future.
This award-winning director, choreographer and writer – who loves both Christmas and The Nutcracker – is looking to discover new and alternative Christmas stories. As usual, he is working in collaboration with actor and writer Andrew Wale. Together, they take the well-known stories and give them a new twist, bringing them out into a new light of day. And the spotlight falls on many dearly loved Christmas films, where familiar scenes form a small Christmas film show.
“I can promise a Christmas performance in the best sense of the word,” says Øyen, “not only a festive atmosphere but also dignified, not only playful but also melancholy.”
Alan Lucien Øyen has created several ballets for the Norwegian National Ballet, including Petrushka, which was his debut in the Main House in 2013. He became attached to the Norwegian National Ballet as resident choreographer the same year. He trained as a ballet dancer, and danced with Carte Blanche and Amanda Miller’s company Pretty Ugly Dance Company in Cologne before starting to write, choreograph and produce his own works. He established his own company, winter guests, in 2006. Øyen has created 20 works for the stage, including seven commissions for ballet and dance companies both in Norway and abroad. He has won many awards, including the Hedda Prize and several international choreography prizes, and was awarded the title of Artist of the Year by the City of Bergen in 2011.