This weekend, the Macau Cultural Center (CCM) will present a dance theatre production of Hans Christian Andersen’s classical tale, “The Little Match Girl”. The English production company, Open Heart Productions, has chosen to stage the entire performance in Italian. The show will be suitable for children aged five and above, and is the last performance of the CCM “ARTmusing Summer” series.
Producer Matthew Jones, along with associate artistic director and dancer, Valentina Golfieri, and lead actress and dancer, Corey Annand, spoke with the media yesterday at a press conference.
Golfieri explained that although the original story is a Christmas fairytale that takes place in Denmark, the director and choreographer of the production, Arthur Pita, decided to set the piece in Italy.
“Arthur’s first and foremost priority was to set the story in Italy. In his mind and due to his heritage, he has always associated Christmas with Italy, claiming that Italians do Christmas like nowhere else in the world, saying how it’s always opulent and beautiful,” said Golfieri.
Goldfieri revealed how the story unravels in a fictional town in the south of Italy called Santo Stefano sul Tuscio and added that the story is deliberately presented in Italian. However, according to Golfieri, the audience does not need to understand Italian to understand the story.
The associate artistic director further revealed that their rendition of the story is unique, as the tale continues past the point at which the original version finishes.
“The end of the story sort of happens halfway through the show as we know it originally and then the match girl continues and goes on to quite a special place,” she added.
The producer stated that the story of “The Little Match Girl” is quite a challenging story for families and children, adding that it is quite realistic and sad in some ways.
This is the first time that the company is performing in Macau although they have already brought the performance to Taiwan and mainland China. “I think the reactions for the most part have been enormously positive,” Jones added.
“We’ve presented the show in a number of different countries and reactions vary throughout but there’s always a line of enjoyment and of wonder,” concluded Golfieri.