One of the most captivating and enduring of all children’s stories, but one replete with themes and interpretive possibilities that allow it to transcend the limitations of just one genre, Pinocchio has been adapted to seemingly countless media and art forms over the years. Its hauntingly archetypal central idea, that of a man who so wants a child that he creates one—in the form of a marionette—out of wood, only to have the marionette come to life and create problems of his own, has proven a beguilingly potent metaphor to many artists. What began as an Italian children’s novel in 1883 has been made over the years into musicals, operas, animated films and television shows.
Pinocchio made its full-length balletic world premiere this season with The National Ballet of Canada. Created by choreographer Will Tuckett, Guest Principal Character Artist with The Royal Ballet in England, Pinocchio is a wildly funny, often moving and sometimes even dark re-telling of the original story, recapturing the adventures of the famous wooden boy with brilliantly inventive choreography and unforgettable stagecraft.