The Teapot Prince
Thu 16 & Fri 17 Jun
6pmHouse & Grounds
For two nights only, see The Teapot Prince, a luxurious, modern take on a classic French story of passion, possession, and porcelain, performed in the fairy-tale grounds of Waddesdon before exploring the Manor and a new exhibition by ceramic artist Edmund de Waal after-hours.
Featuring an all-star cast of New York City Ballet soloists, Georgina Pazcoguin and Daniel Applebaum, alongside Broadway phenom Tyler Hanes, with costumes by cutting edge designer Harriet Jung, and live music performed by Time and Truth ensemble, this is a unique opportunity to experience ballet as the 18th-century French elite intended – a daring and delightful after-dinner entertainment.
In the evocative setting of Waddesdon’s grounds, imagine yourself whisked back in time to the court of Louis XV. Enjoy a refreshment, talks and Q&A with the cast and creative team, the enchanting ballet itself, and round off the evening with a private viewing of new and celebrated works in porcelain by internationally acclaimed artist Edmund de Waal, and exclusive access to the west galleries.
Suitable for ages 8+
The Teapot Prince, also known as the Ballets des Porcelaines, was lost to the world for almost three hundred years, until art historian Meredith Martin uncovered the manuscript and score. Restaged and re-imagined, yet inspired by the original, The Teapot Prince has been brought to life by an exceptional creative team led by Phil Chan, award winning dancer, choreographer, academic and acclaimed author of Final Bow for Yellowface. The Teapot Prince is the fanciful tale of a lost prince, a courageous princess, and a possessive evil sorcerer; a standard Orientalist love story and an allegory for the intense European desire to know and possess the secrets of Asian porcelain.
With only eight performances in the UK, book now and join us at Waddesdon for a unique and enchanting evening’s entertainment.
This performance is in collaboration with The Oxford Research Centre for the Humanities (TORCH) and the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies.
Discover the Ballet des Porcelaines
In 1739 at a château outside of Paris, a group of French aristocrats staged a ballet pantomime known as the Ballet des Porcelaines, or The Teapot Prince. Written by the comte de Caylus, with music by Nicolas-Racot de Grandval, and based on a fairy tale in the same literary milieu as Beauty and the Beast (1740), it tells the story of an evil sorcerer who rules an exotic island and transforms trespassers into porcelain. A prince gets lost on the island and is turned into a teapot, and a princess, in a reversal of the standard damsel-in-distress plot, has to steal the sorcerer’s wand and break the spell in order to bring her lover back to life. In the original fairy tale, the sorcerer is punished by being turned into a “pagod”—a Chinese-style porcelain figurine akin to a modern “bobblehead”—but in the ballet he simply flees the stage. The production, Caylus wrote, was meant to last “no more than a generous fifteen minutes.”
On the one hand a standard Orientalist love story, the ballet is also an allegory for the intense European desire to know and possess the secrets of porcelain manufacture, a feat that the prince and princess achieve in the end while reducing their Asian opponent to an ornamental trinket. Although it would later inspire famous ballets featuring sleeping beauties and porcelain princesses, the Ballet des Porcelaines is virtually unknown and has not been performed in nearly three hundred years.
Meet the dancers
Daniel Applebaum was born in Olney, Maryland. At age seven, he began studying ballet with Maryland Youth Ballet. He attended summer courses at the School of American Ballet (SAB), the official school of New York City Ballet, in 2000 and 2001, becoming a full-time student that autumn. In October 2004, he became an apprentice with New York City Ballet and joined the corps de ballet in July 2005. Mr. Applebaum was promoted to soloist in October 2018. He is also a contributing writer for Opera News.
Georgina Pazcoguin, aka “The Rogue Ballerina,” joined New York City Ballet (NYCB) in 2002 and became the first Asian American female Soloist in NYCB’s history. Pazcoguin’s artistry spans across mediums from her extensive stage repertory at NYCB to being featured on the hit show Fosse/Verdon (2019) as well as the film NY EXPORT: OPUS JAZZ. Pazcoguin has also made a home on Broadway with additional credits including Victoria in Cats and Ivy Smith in On the Town.
Georgina is co-founder — with Phil Chan — of Final Bow for Yellowface.
Tyler Hanes is an actor / singer/ dancer / choreographer best known for his work on the Broadway stage. His Broadway credits include Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Larry in A Chorus Line, On The Town, Hairspray and Oklahoma!
Most recently, Tyler choreographed Kristin Chenoweth: For The Girls on Broadway. Other choreography credits include Dancing with the Stars, Kristin Chenoweth’s Some Lessons Learned World Tour, The American Country Awards, New York Fashion Week, and El Chico De Oz in Lima, Peru.
Order a picnic for two to enjoy in the grounds before the performance, freshly-made and inspired by our quintessential afternoon teas.
Classic and vegetarian options available, £29.95. Collect at the Manor Terrace from 6pm.
On the day
- Doors open from 6pm, please park in our private car park at the top of the hill.
- Collection of a drink and pre-ordered picnics from 6pm on the Manor Terrace.
- The performance will begin at 6.30pm on the South Front, please note this is an outdoor performance. You are welcome to bring blankets and chairs to sit on. The performance will be followed by a Q&A with the production team and dancers.
- From 7pm to 8.30pm, explore the Manor’s west galleries and our new exhibition ‘Edmund de Waal: we live here, forever taking leave’.