A welcome festive visitor

moscow balet

The Nutcracker

Moscow Ballet - La Classique

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

****

The Nutcracker as danced by La Classique Moscow Ballet is like stepping into paradise on earth.

The scene is set with just a simple painted backcloth of a splendid country house in the snow. The children with their parents gather to attend the Christmas Eve party and each party has its own character and story to tell.

One girl slips on the ice and cries, boys throw snowballs at each other, the parents scold, the children play. And then the fun starts. The magician godfather brings clockwork toys – Harlequin, Saracen and Columbine - that he winds up to entertain the children and the fun continues way into the night.

We follow the overtired and over excited children back along the same routes home with, again, some gorgeous story telling. Dad has forgotten his hat! The children clearly don’t want the fun to end. Clara (Nadejda Ivanova) and Fritz, brother and sister of the house have been given gifts.

Hers is a huge and colourful soldier nutcracker, his is a sword. He breaks her nutcracker with some boisterous playing and she is bereft. Midnight strikes and the house mice take the stage, but Clara’s new soldier isn’t so broken that he can’t defend her. Other toy soldiers join the battle and it is definitely not a quiet Christmas night.

The magic of midnight turns Clara’s Nutcracket soldier (Aleksandr Tarasov) into a real man and they dreamily dance the night away.

The dancing is glorious, Tchaikovsky’s music wonderful (recorded but that’s fine), characterisation and storytelling first rate. This was truly an enchanted evening’s entertainment with something for all the family.

La Classique was founded in 1990 to utilise the skills, talents and passions of Russia’s finest classical dancers and aimed to recreate as far as possible the traditional choreography of the 1820s, the heyday of Russian ballet.

I particularly enjoyed the principal dancers in the cameo sections featuring French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese dance, all performed with such finesse and humour, but it was the children setting the scene so cleverly in the snowy winter that stole my heart. The lighting effects and the magic Christmas Tree all added an air of mystery and wonder. This is great entertainment and well worth a look. To 08-11-14

Jane Howard

06-11-14

This production of The Nutcracker is also at Buxton Opera House on Wednesday, 19th November

 

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