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The Nutcracker

State Ballet Academy Of Minsk

Lichfield Garrick

***

THIS version of Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker provides a glimpse of the future for Russia as the young dancers show their undoubted quality.

It's not on the grand scale of the show to be staged by the Birmingham Royal Ballet at the Hippodrome, which opens next Friday, but it is nevertheless a throughly enjoyable production.

Some of the dancing is a delight in the story of a young girl's dream after she is given a nutcracker doll by her godfather, Drosselmeier, on Christmas Eve.

In this production the girl, Marie, awakes to see he toy has become a soldier leading his men in a battle with a  horde of mice lead by the mouse king, following which she is taken to the Sugar Plum Fairy's realm of sweets where a range of stunning dances from across the world are performed.

The corps de ballet dance beautifully in a snow storm, and the young men of the academy later show their outstanding ability with a series of superb lifts before Marie's dream ends.

The costumes are impressive, too, in this much-loved ballet, performed here to recorded music. The Nutcracker closes on Saturday night (Nov 19).

Paul Marston 

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