Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Most Incredible Thing” was the Danish writer’s favorite fairy tale, but it is rarely brought back to life. Alastair MacCaulay reviewed the NYC ballet production inspired by the story and found it wanting, but the photographs and video send a different message.
As I noted in my Annotated Hans Christian Andersen, the story was reprinted by a group of academics who became leaders of the Danish Resistance Movement and illustrated in a way that made it an allegory of Nazi defeat.
When the Destroyer arrives, he’s wonderfully arresting. Like the god Janus of Roman mythology, he has two faces, one on the back of his head. He, in everything he does, is the most real person in the piece.