Tēvs: Ringolds Žigis
Spalanzani: Intars Kleinhofs
The choreographer Christian Spuck is best known in Latvia for his comical Grand Pas de Deux, the first part of the parody ballet Les Gems. Der Sandmann was written for one of the leading ballet troupes in the world, the Stuttgart Ballet. Now it is recreated with our company. The members of the creative team behind the production have been working together for many years. The entire LNO ballet troupe participates in the performances, and this new ballet once again gives our dancers the chance to prove their technical and artistic mastery.
Nathanael, a young student, is bewildered and confused. He recalls episodes from his life, yet can't differentiate between the past and the present, fantasy and reality.
Nathanael returns to his hometown and meets his friends Lothar and Siegmund, and his fiancée, Clara. Nathanael immerses himself in his memories.
These bring him back to his childhood, which was spent together with two sisters. He recalls how the lawyer Coppelius came to his parents' apartment and disappeared into the next room with Nathanael's father. Driven by curiosity, little Nathanael had snuck into the room to watch the two men. Hs was caught, and immediately overcome with a horrible fear. Later, when his mother awakens him, Nathanael can no longer recall whether what he had seen - Coppola holding his arms and legs and trying to steal his eyes - was a dream or reality.
Nathanael's friends Siegmund and Lothar help him to leave his memories behind and return to the present. Clara also tries to coax him out of his melancholy. She is able to calm Nathanael, yet only for a short time, because his memories return over and over again.
Nathanael returns to his past. Once again, Coppelius visits Nathanael's father, but this time, his father dies during their meeting. Nathanael has always associated Coppelius with his father's death. As a young boy, he also believed that Coppelius was the Sandman, the horrible fairy-tale character who rips out children's eyes.
During his student years, Nathanael lives in a town whose residents he finds extremely frightful. Nathanael is visited in his apartment by the lens salesman Coppola, who offers to sell him spectacles. This person reminds Nathanael of Coppelius; in a panic, he orders him leave his home.
Nathanael wants to reveal to Clara the deep sadness, fear, and passionate love that dwell inside him. Clara, in turn, tries to ease her beloved's gloomy thoughts. But this only drives Nathanael deeper into despair and leads to an argument with Clara. At the last minute, Lothar and Siegmund are able to save the day, though Nathanael remains alone and misunderstood.
Nathanael is once again visited by Coppola. This time, Nathanael buys a telescope from him; through it he sees the world in a truly different light. In the window of the house across from his, Nathael catches sight of his professor Spalanzani's daughter, Olimpia, and fall in love with her.
At a ball Spalanzani presents Olimpia - who is actually an automaton - in public for the first time. She dances before the guests, and Nathanael is enraptured. He succeeds in inviting Olimpia to dance, much to the surprise of the other guests, for Olimpia had spent the entire ball dancing with her father. As the ball draws to a close, Nathanael and Olimpia are left alone, and Nathanael experiences the imagined joy of love for the beautiful automaton.
Spalanzani arrives, separates the two and takes Olimpia back to her room. Nathanael who follows them finds Spalanzani and Coppola arguing over Olimpia's eyes. As he tries to save Olimpia, Nathanael suddenly realizes that he has fallen in love with a lifeless mechanism. He loses his mind.
Nathanael's crazed imagination conjures up various characters from his life. Clara arrives and tries to coax her beloved back to the real world; eventually, he appears to rejoin the order and simplicity of reality.
Having returned to his hometown, Nathanael wanders around town with Clara. Convinced that he sees Coppelius in the distance, Nathanael raises Coppola's telescope to his eyes. He turns his gaze to Clara, who suddenly seems to turn into Olimpia. Nathanael tries to kill his fiancée. Clara is saved at the last minute, but Nathanael succumbs to madness.
It seems that Clara discovers happiness and starts a family together with Siegmund.