The Pantomimeteateret: A Venue for Pantomime and Dance

Denmark has its own pantomime theater courtesy of the Pantomimeteateret. Functioning primarily as a theater showcasing the classical commedia dell’arte tradition, ballet and modern dance have also found a fitting venue in it. It is an open-aire theater located inside the famous Tivoli Gardens, one of the most visited attractions of Denmark.

It is also referred to as the Peacock Theater with a stage that features the very distinctive peacock curtain. Its Chinese styling was derived by its architect from pictures of buildings in the Far East without the benefit of actually seeing these inspirations. It requires at least 5 men to operate the peacock curtain which is  a mechanical front curtain that unfolds in a manner similar to that of a peacock’s tail.

The pantomime tradition that prevailed in Denmark however is no way related to Chinese styling. The setting is usually Old Copenhagen with story elements that may or may not be related. Music plays a big part in the plot and the movement. Several ballet, jazz, and even hip hop peformances specifically made for pantomime presentations have been shown during the past years. This just shows the theater’s capability and willingness to adapt to more modern programs.

There are a few venues that still showcase pantomimes at this time. In the Pantomimeteateret, pantomime is treated as an independent art form. Pantomimes are not to be confused with mimes since thay are in fact musical comedy stage productions. One of the more popular features of the Pantomimeteateret is the story of Harlequin and Columbine. 

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