Swedish Royal Opera goes Pippi
Like all popular fiction, Astrid Lindgren‘s Pippi Longstocking is a commercial product and the ballet “Pippi Longstocking,“ created by choreographer Pär Isberg, is no exception. Thanks to a theme-park kind of concept – huge inflatable pigtails on the roof of the opera house, a giant slide in the marble entrance staircase and reasonably-priced pancakes and soda pop served by pigtailed waitresses in the cafeterias – this is a very child-friendly concept.
Commercial can also be read as popular, and the main reason for the Royal Opera to go Pippi is most likely not financial but cultural politics. Almost exactly one year ago, at his first press conference as director of the Royal Opera, Anders Franzén emphasized that one of his first priorities as director was to make the Stockholm Opera House more accessible to children.
To an outsider the Pippi concept is probably no big deal but it seems that Pippi has meant something of a revolution to the rigidly structured organization of the Royal Swedish Opera. And the revolutionary spirit of Pippi is spreading. One week after the premiere of Pippi Longstocking, 40 (out of a total of 73) dancers of the Royal Swedish Ballet were involved in a ...