Ballet Careers

Pinocchio Comes to Life

Piotr Stanczyk, Skylar Campbell and Heather Ogden in costume for Pinocchio(Photo by Karolina Kuras, Courtesy National Ballet of Canada)

On March 11, a beloved wooden puppet will become a real boy when National Ballet of Canada premieres Will Tuckett's Pinocchio. "Pinocchio inhabits a world of movement," says Tuckett, an independent choreographer and guest principal character artist with The Royal Ballet. NBoC first soloist Skylar Campbell, who is originating the role of Pinocchio, says that Tuckett has allowed the dancers to find quirkiness. "You have to move distinctly rather than robotically," he says.


The ballet is designed by Colin Richmond, with a score by Paul Englishby and projection by Douglas O'Connell. The story hews close to the original 19th-century version by Italian writer Carlo Collodi. "There's a darker element," says Campbell. Questions of belonging will remain, though. "Geppetto is a single parent," says Tuckett, "and I love that Pinocchio doesn't need a conventional family to become real."

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