"Making a theatrical piece, i.e. a ballet for children is a very special task, because children are the most sincere and strict critics", wrote Torsten Händler, the German choreographer, who was the first to use the Näther's music to put Max and Moritz (Picko and Packo) into the ballet shoes. The performance he staged for the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden was a great success and launched many different stage versions of this ballet across the World. It is a dance story about two naughty brats, who through their rogueries and foolery conjure up for us a picturesque and above all waggish world of childhood and growing up. The children in Slovenia have known Picko and Packo ever since 1980, when the story Max und Moritz, written by Wilhelm Busch in 1865, was excellently translated by Svetlana Makarovič. Later on we could also read this story in some other translations. As a creator of the ballet performance Thorsten Händler was especially inspired by the grotesqueness and vivacity of the figures from the picture book, looking as if they are to emerge in front of us any time. Quite a special challenge for the choreographer was that due to the extreme popularity of the story, he was almost forced to strictly follow its original literary text. This staging has already had several dozens of repeat performances, presented as on our stage as well as on many tours.
Text: Tatjana Ažman