The Czech National Ballet prepared the world premiere of a dance production titled Krabat –The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The performance is based on an eerie Sorbian legend dating from around the turn of the 18th century that tells the story of a boy who on the edge of adulthood gets mixed up in black magic and is fascinated by it until he realises it could destroy him. The tale highlights the danger of dabbling with mysterious powers that can infatuate and enthral. Yet the hero ultimately learns that love alone can defeat even the darkest magic.

This is a macabre, spine-chilling tale, dealing with the occult, but it is one with a happy ending. As is the custom in most fairy tales, legends and myths, in this story love again proves to be a force more powerful than death.

About the company

The Czech National Ballet has played a dominant role in the development of Czech ballet art, not only from its statute but also from the fact that it is the largest ballet ensemble in the Czech Republic. Its creation in 1883 marked the start of a continuous evolutionary tradition of Czech professional dance.

The Czech National Ballet currently has 82 members and is headed by artistic director Petr Zuska. Its dancers are from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, the USA, Great Britain, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Japan and Italy. 

Its philosophy and artistic management have made the Czech National Ballet one of Europe’s major companies, but one with a special artistic spirit, deriving from Prague’s enchanting multicultural milieu.

At the start of the 2002–2003 season, dancer and choreographer Petr Zuska became the new Artistic Director of the Czech National Ballet. Under his guidance, the ensemble has advanced in several directions. It has performed classic ballet works (Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty, Don Quixote, Giselle, La Sylphide / Napoli), neo-classical ballets (by John Cranko: The Taming of the Shrew and Onegin; Youri Vàmos: Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker – A Christmas Carol and Othello; George Balanchine: Tchaikovsky, Pas de deux and Theme and Variations), and modern creations by both Czech and international choreographers (Jiří Kylián, Itzik Galili, Conny Jansen, Mats Ek, Petr Zuska, Nacho Duato, Jan Kodet, Stijn Celis, Christopher Bruce, Jean-Christophe Maillot, William Forsythe, Jerome Robbins, etc.).




National Theatre / Národní divadlo

Czech title

Čarodějův učeň

Names of authors

SKUTR (Martin Kukučka, Lukáš Trpišovský), Jan Kodet

Name of director or choreographer

Zbyněk Matějů

Length of the performance

135 minutes

Number of travelling persons



No language barrier


Adult , Children

Scale of venue


Contact person

Petr Zuska