Why do Danish Fairy Tales Inspire So Many Ballets

When it comes to the ballet, which story first springs to mind? Swan Lake is often the one that many casual followers will mention first, but continue to ask many fans, and the likes of The Snow Queen, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Little Mermaid will likely crop up.

These iconic performances all have one thing in common: they are based upon the legendary fairy tales of Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. These famous tales have inspired countless creators and directors, and even inspired one of the most renowned ballet sequences of all time, The Ballet of the Red Shoes, which is a 17-minute performance that explores the emotional struggles the protagonist faces.

So why do the Danish fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen inspire so many ballets? One of the main reasons is the themes of his work, where the characters of each tale face certain issues that they have to successfully overcome. The morals involved in these stories are highly inspirational and let ballet choreographers further explore the emotions of human life, helping them to evoke those feelings and motivate their audience.

Of course, not only do Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales inspire ballet performances, but Andersen himself was a big fan of the ballet. He attended the Danish Royal Ballet School for a short period and was good friends with choreographer August Bournonville, who produced the first edition of The Steadfast Tin Soldier in 1871.

Here at Aviendo, we are also inspired by the fairy tales of Hans Christian Andersen. Our mission is to bring these stories to life through a range of beautifully crafted wooden figures, sustainable illustrated storybooks, posters, tabletop theatres and 3D puzzles – check out our full range here.


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