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Found 31 results

  1. Well, I'm afraid it wasn't a flawless broadcast of Raymonda today at the cinema I went to: in addition to numerous (and seemingly regular) gaps in the audio (and often video) of about one second, we had two long losses of picture and sound, one in each of the first two acts. One of them resulted in the screen becoming more horribly pixelated than anything I'd seen since the motherboard on my new laptop failed about a decade ago I hope others fared better. Technical issues apart, I'm afraid I found myself nodding off several times during Act I: not sure to what extent that was due to the very dark set. The third act is quite different in many respects from the Raymonda Act III which the Royal Ballet are currently performing, in particular due to the lack of solos for the supporting dancers - presumably these were given earlier in the ballet, perhaps in the bits I was unable to view. Certainly, the only additional solo was for either Clémence or Henriette, which I thought was a bit odd - I did entertain the thought that one of the dancers might have injured herself and so her solo was simply omitted without comment. It has to be said that it looks a lot more expansive on the Bolshoi's far more spacious stage.
  2. Hi Birmingham Royal Ballet - The nutcracker is here. I went to see and photograph thier rehersal , and it was brilliant. I m a newbie and hopefully I can give you all more comments when I have more experience in Ballet performance. https://www.brb.org.uk/whats-on/event/nutcracker-2019 Choreography - Peter Wright, Lev Lvanov, Vincent Redmon Music - Pyotr Llyich Tchaikovsky Design - John F Macfarlane Lighting - David Finn I only posted a photo here b'cos I dont want to leak all the surprises and spoil the show. https://testing80.pixieset.com/birminghamroyalballet-thenutcracker2019/
  3. English National Ballet Nutcracker National Tour 27 November – 5 January 2020 Liverpool Empire and London Coliseum www.ballet.org.uk/nutcracker As part of its 70th Anniversary Season English National Ballet is continuing its Christmas tradition of presenting a Nutcracker production each year since 1950. English National Ballet's Nutcracker returns this festive season with performances at the Liverpool Empire Theatre (27-30 November) and the London Coliseum (11 December-5 January) Principal casting for the performances is announced today and sees three debuts in the roles of Clara and Nephew. Guest artist Brooklyn Mack will debut in the role of Nephew for ENB partnered with Principal Shiori Kase, First Soloist Emma Hawes will debut in the role of Clara alongside First Soloist Aitor Arrieta and Daniel McCormickdebuts as Nephew and will be dancing with Soloist Rina Kanehara. Other pairings in the roles of Clara and Nephew respectively are; Lead Principals Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernández, Lead Principals Joseph Caley and Jeffrey Cirio are both partnered with First Soloist Katja Khaniukova, Lead Principal Erina Takahashi will perform with Principal Francesco Gabriele Frola, Lead Principal Fernanda Oliveira and First Soloist James Forbat and First Artist Francesca Velicu with First Soloist Ken Saruhashi. Also announced today are those dancing the role of Nutcracker which sees debuts for Artist of the Company Matthew Astley and First Artist Henry Dowden. Returning to the role of Nutcracker this season are; First Soloists Aitor Arrieta, James Format and Junor Souza, Soloist Skyler Martin, First Artists Daniel McCormick and Erik Woolhouse and Artist of the Company Fernando Carratalá Coloma. Over 100 dancers and musicians bring to life the popular Tchaikovsky score featuring the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers, performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. Since its premiere in 2010, this festive family favourite has been seen by over 660,000 people, and continues to attract new audiences, with 70% of 2018's audience members first time attenders at the London Coliseum. To coincide with Nutcracker, English National Ballet will host a range of workshops and events, aimed to provide a gateway into the world of ballet. Activities include on-stage workshops for all ages including adult and youth ballet workshops, arts and craft family workshops and behind-the-scenes talks. The Family Friendly performance ofNutcracker is on Sunday 5 January. Children under 5 may attend this performance and up to two children under 16 can go free with each full paying adult. For more details, see www.ballet.org.uk/whats-on Nutcracker Principal Casting: In the order of Clara, Nephew and Nutcracker Liverpool Wednesday 27 November Shiori Kase, Brooklyn Mack*+, Junor Souza Thursday 28 November (mat) Emma Hawes*, Aitor Arrieta, Fernando Carratalá Coloma Thursday 28 November Rina Kanehara, Daniel McCormick*, Erik Woolhouse Friday 29 November Emma Hawes, Aitor Arrieta, Fernando Carratalá Coloma Saturday 30 November (mat) Francesca Velicu, Ken Saruhashi, Matthew Astley Saturday 30 November Shiori Kase, Brooklyn Mack, Junor Souza London Wednesday 11 December Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Skyler Martin Thursday 12 December Katja Khaniukova, Jeffrey Cirio, Daniel McCormick Friday 13 December Shiori Kase, Brooklyn Mack, Junor Souza Saturday 14 December (mat) Fernanda Oliveira, James Forbat, Henry Dowden Saturday 14 December Katja Khaniukova, Joseph Caley, Aitor Arrieta Sunday 15 December (mat) Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Skyler Martin Tuesday 17 December (mat) Rina Kanehara, Daniel McCormick, Erik Woolhouse Tuesday 17 December Katja Khaniukova, Joseph Caley, Aitor Arrieta Wednesday 18 December (mat) Fernanda Oliveira, James Forbat, Henry Dowden Wednesday 18 December Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Skyler Martin Thursday 19 December (mat) Emma Hawes, Aitor Arrieta, Fernando Carratalá Coloma Thursday 19 December Katja Khaniukova, Jeffrey Cirio, Daniel McCormick Friday 20 December (mat) Francesca Velicu, Ken Saruhashi, Matthew Astley Friday 20 December Shiori Kase, Brooklyn Mack, Junor Souza Saturday 21 December (mat) Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Skyler Martin Saturday 21 December Rina Kanehara, Daniel McCormick, Erik Woolhouse Sunday 22 December (mat) Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández, James Forbat Tuesday 24 December (mat) Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández, James Forbat Thursday 26 December Emma Hawes, Aitor Arrieta, Fernando Carratalá Coloma Friday 27 December (mat) Katja Khaniukova, Jeffrey Cirio, Daniel McCormick Friday 27 December Fernanda Oliveira, James Forbat, Henry Dowden Saturday 28 December (mat) Francesca Velicu, Ken Saruhashi, Matthew Astley Saturday 28 December Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández, James Forbat Sunday 29 December (mat) Shiori Kase, Brooklyn Mack, Junor Souza Monday 30 December (mat) Rina Kanehara, Daniel McCormick, Erik Woolhouse Monday 30 December Katja Khaniukova, Joseph Caley, Aitor Arrieta Tuesday 31 December (mat) Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Skyler Martin Thursday 2 January Katja Khaniukova, Jeffrey Cirio, Daniel McCormick Friday 3 January (mat) Alina Cojocaru, Isaac Hernández, James Forbat Saturday 4 January (mat) Francesca Velicu, Ken Saruhashi, Matthew Astley Saturday 4 January Erina Takahashi, Francesco Gabriele Frola, Skyler Martin Sunday 5 January (mat) Fernanda Oliveira, James Forbat, Henry Dowden *Debut in the role with English National Ballet +Guest Artist Please note, casting is subject to change. Please see www.ballet.org.uk for up to date casting. -ENDS- Listings: Nutcracker Liverpool Empire Wednesday 27 - Saturday 30 November 2019 Box Office: 0844 871 3017 or www.ballet.org.uk/nutcracker Nutcracker London Coliseum Wednesday 11 December 2019 - Sunday 5 January 2020 Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or www.ballet.org.uk/nutcracker English National Ballet is a National Portfolio Organisation supported by Arts Council England. Notes to Editors About English National Ballet English National Ballet has a long and distinguished history. Founded in 1950 as London Festival Ballet by the great English Dancers Alicia Markova and Anton Dolin, it has played a major role in the growth and history of ballet in the UK. Today, English National Ballet is renowned for taking world-class ballet to the widest possible audience through its national and international tour programme, offsite performances at festivals including Glastonbury and Latitude, its distinguished orchestra English National Ballet Philharmonic, and being a UK leader in creative learning and engagement practice and delivery, building innovative partnerships to deliver flagship programmes such as English National Ballet’s Dance for Parkinson’s. Under the artistic directorship of Tamara Rojo, English National Ballet has gained new acclaim as it introduces innovative new works to the Company’s repertoire while continuing to honour and reinvigorate traditional ballet. www.ballet.org.uk About Arts Council England Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, we will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. www.artscouncil.org.uk
  4. Quite an exciting, unique take on the Nutcracker Hats off to the principals especially, for their impeccable dancing in an incredibly intense pas de deux. A longer review may be found here. It seems fitting that where the Western version of the Nutcracker celebrates Christmas, the version by the National Ballet of China (NBC) is built around the equally festive Lunar New Year, a season that's all about family as well. I was extremely impressed by how cleverly the Lunar New Year theme was transposed onto the Nutcracker ballet, and the ingenious use of symbols of Chinese culture and tradition. A quick run-down of some new elements in this Nutcracker (Act 1): Instead of Clara and Fritz fighting over the Nutcracker, we have young Yuan Yuan and her cousin Tuan Tuan bickering over the toy. ('Tuan yuan' in Mandarin means 'reunion', and Lunar New Year is a time when families come together to celebrate.) In place of the Rat King and his soldiers, we have the mythical Nian monster, which legend says terrorised a village until it was chased away by loud firecrackers, the colour red, and spring scrolls (calligraphy scrolls). The first half of this Nutcracker involves dances containing many festive elements: dancers playing children dressed up as creatures from the Chinese Zodiac; rows of dancers holding lanterns in the dark; couples bearing spring scrolls. New elements (Act 2 - when Yuan Yuan dreams that she is grown up and has met her Nutcracker Prince): A few highlights - instead of the Kingdom of Sweets, we are carried away into the Porcelain Kingdom which is decorated with vases. Instead of snowflakes, we have gorgeous red-crowned cranes (symbolising good fortune and longevity) picking their way delicately through a field of falling snow, the long elegant reaching arms and folded hands of the ballerinas bringing to mind the spreading wings of the birds; and their perfect little bourres depicting birds floating into the field. The Waltz of the Flowers was danced brilliantly by men and women dressed in costumes reminiscent of blue-and-white Ming Dynasty vases, and the choreography was inspired, bringing out the music in all its glory - the joyous triumphant lifts, the energetic leaps from the men. I was also exceptionally fond of the Dance of the Mirlitons, which took the form of a story of a boy and his kite (lovely lilting floating bourres and flicking arms to depict a kite whisking through the wind, and unwinding at the end of a ribbon) -- which ended with the kite breaking away, then returning to the boy willingly as his childhood companion. On to the pas de deux: An incredible high-speed heart-stopping breathtaking performance by Zhang Jian (as the grown-up Yuan Yuan), who is partnered by the capable, strong Ma Xiaodong (the Nutcracker Prince). The choreography is light, speedy, incredibly athletic, and intoxicating. It is almost as if they are drawn together like magnets, as they swing from strength to jaw-dropping strength with the finest grace and agility. Zhang Jian has incredible poise, excellent technique and the most expressive arms. Special mention must be made of Qiu/ Yue Yunting, the lead crane (who can be found on google/youtube), for her charismatic, graceful dancing and for admirably remaining in character throughout as the gracious, assured leader of the cranes. Same for Zhan Xin-Lu (young Yuan Yuan), who has a fascinating dramatic range and clarity to her dancing and the energetic Teng Jiankai (Tuan Tuan) -- for on their capable shoulders rested almost the entire first half of the performance.
  5. The Nutcracker has been a huge part of half my life, but there are some interesting facts that I only just recently learned. So I decided to put together a quiz that includes questions about the history, music, and plot of the ballet. Hope you find it fun and perhaps educational, too!
  6. English National Ballet Manon National Tour 17 October 2018 - 20 January 2019 www.ballet.org.uk/manon Continuing its commitment to UK touring and presenting world-class ballet to the widest possible audience, Autumn 2018 sees English National Ballet present Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Manon outside of London for only the second time in 30 years. English National Ballet will present Manon in Manchester (17-20 October), Milton Keynes (24-27 October) and Southampton (31 October–03 November) followed by performances at the London Coliseum (16-20 January 2019). English National Ballet, Manon. Dancers: Alina Cojocaru and Isaac Hernández © Jason Bell. Art Direction and Design Charlotte Wilkinson Studio. Famous for its expressive choreography and dramatic challenge, Manon features some of the most demanding and fulfilling roles in ballet. Manon is accompanied by Jules Massenet’s haunting music performed live by English National Ballet Philharmonic. The young and naïve Manon is torn between two lives: privilege and opulence with the wealthy Monsieur GM, or innocent love with the penniless student Des Grieux. Aristocrats and beggars, courtesans and harlots fill the stage as audiences are taken from a gambling den in 18th-century Paris to a desolate Louisiana swamp in this, one of British ballet’s most dramatic stories. Alongside Manon, English National Ballet also presents Swan Lake as part of its Autumn Tour. Further details can be found at www.ballet.org.uk Notes to Editors Listings information for Manon Manon Manchester Opera House Wednesday 17 October – Saturday 20 October 2018 Box Office: 0844 871 3018 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon Manon Milton Keynes Theatre Wednesday 24 October – Saturday 27 October 2018 Box Office: 0844 871 7652 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon Manon Mayflower Theatre, Southampton Wednesday 31 October – Saturday 03 November 2018 Box Office: 02380 711811 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon Manon London Coliseum Wednesday 16 January – Sunday 20 January 2019 Box Office: 020 7845 9300 or www.ballet.org.uk/manon
  7. Hiya! A tad early but looking for one cheap ticket for this sold out performance. PM if you are able to help! :) Thanks in advance, Linda.
  8. Hi, Not sure whether this should be in 'Doing Dance' or one of the other forums, but... I'm intrigued to know which school year groups dance which roles in The Nutcracker. I'm particularly interested in the Royal Ballet School and the Royal Ballet's production of the ballet, but am also interested in other companies and productions (particularly in the US). I believe that first and second years dance party guests and mice. What about years 9, 10 and 11? Do they still appear? Then I guess upper school girls are drafted into the corps de ballet for snowflakes. I used to be under the impression that the 'angels' were danced by upper school girls, but either that was wrong, or it's changed, as I recently saw a photograph of Demelza Parish in the role. Thank you, Rebecca
  9. Hi, Looking for tickets for ENB's Nutcracker. Two for either 4th, 5th or 6th January, one adult and one child, matinee or evening, and a single for evening of 6th. Anyone got anything available? Thanks.
  10. Anyone with a spare RB Nutcracker for sat 30th evening please ?- stalls circle standing preferred or similar Thanks Jules
  11. Does anyone have a spare ticket? Can't pay too much and needs to be upstairs. Please PM me if you do. Thanks.
  12. I have the following tickets going spare for Nutcracker: Thursday 28th December 7pm Stalls Circle Standing D50 £10 Saturday 30th December 2.00pm Stalls Circle Standing D5 £8 Please PM me. I can send tickets by post.
  13. Saw this story on the BBC website and I was like couldn't quite believe it and just had to share it Russian region debates Nutcracker 'occult' row - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-news-from-elsewhere-38652926
  14. I was at the opening night of ENB's lovely Nutcracker by Wayne Eagling. I really rather like this production. The opening wintry scene with skaters in great coats is delightful and then the festivities inside the house with all the dance students is just lovely. The children were really good and a credit to Tring Park School. The "adult" role of Clara was played by Laurretta Summerscales partnered by Emilio Pavan as the Nephew and Junor Souza as the Nutcracker although they double up in parts. Best not to put too much store by that or it gets confusing! James Streeter was Herr Drosselmeyer and a fine job he made of the role too - James can do no wrong in my eyes - his magic tricks were great too! I absolutely loved the Snowflake scene at the end of Act 1 - the ballerinas kept really straight lines and the intricate patterns of them weaving in and out was just beautiful to watch, I wish they could have done an encore! The Snowflake scene alone was worth the ticket price. Of all the divertissements in Act 2 I really enjoyed the male cossack in the Russian dance - his leaps were fantastic and he barely made a sound on landing - the cast sheet is confusing as it names 2 men in that section but there was only one and I feel it was Fernando Bufala rather than Francisco Bosch who was also named? The Spanish dance was great as well and danced with great latino joie de vivre by Crystal Costa, Adela Ramirez and Vitor Menezes. The dance of the Mirlitons and the Flower Waltz were all beautiful as well, I could go on.... Laurretta was very fast in the SPF section particularly in her solo which was great. In the pdd with Emilio Pavan there was a quick succession of lifts and unfortunately the biggest of all didn't quite come off as it should - I felt that the lift in question came after too many others so it's quite understandable that it didn't quite work, overall though this was the only glitsch throughout an otherwise super show. I have not seen Emilio Pavan before and I thought he was a lovely partner to Laurretta. The orchestra played beautifully under the baton of Gavin Sutherland (although I could have done without the accompaniment of at times some loud talking and lots of rustling sweet papers etc...grrr) I noticed they had 2 harps - I almost thought the music was being amplified as it was loud but I think it was having the second harp that made it sound louder! I was delighted that ENB had a children's choir (Tring Park I think as no other credit on the cast sheet) to sing the "Ah Ahs" - that was the icing on the musical cake for me! The set and costumes are lovely and it all made for a lovely Christmassy feel. I think the Liverpool shows are pretty much a sell out which is great - I am really pleased that ENB brought Nutcracker here again as it saves a trip to London. I would definitely recommend seeing this show. A curtain call photo from last night showing Laurretta summerscales and Emilio Pavan.
  15. Apologies if this has been posted before - couldn't see it anywhere. Below is a cut and paste from the ROH news: (http://www.roh.org.uk/news/bbc-to-broadcast-behind-the-scenes-nutcracker-documentary-during-christmas-2016) BBC Two will broadcast a special 90-minute documentary following the process of staging The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker on Christmas Day 2016 at 4pm. The Company allowed the BBC access behind-the-scenes to follow preparations of Peter Wright’s classic ballet, which has returned to Covent Garden to delight audiences once again this Season. The documentary focuses on the debuts of many young dancers from the Royal Ballet School who make up a troupe of toy soldiers, as well as dancers recently promoted to the Company’s highest rank of Principal, including those preparing to dance the iconic role of the Sugar Plum Fairy. The part, performed by some of the Company’s most famous former Principals, Margot Fonteyn and Darcey Bussell, is one of the most technically challenging roles in the repertory. The documentary filmmakers followed The Royal Ballet and The Royal Ballet School closely for three months, capturing a wonderful glimpse into the classic production. Broadcast details will be released shortly. Follow our Twitter account and check this page for updates. The Royal Opera House and the BBC are partners.
  16. Casting has just been posted on BRB website. 13 Sugar Plum Fairies.
  17. I’ve had a few too many Nuts in my life but I promised you to be on the lookout for Ksenia Ovsyanick who had her first appearance here and her debut as Clara yesterday so I went there and even splurged for a seat in the stalls. Staatsballett Berlin ditched their opulently furnished and outrageously expensive “Russian” Nutcracker (Medvedev / Burlaka) - which was only two years old - for the rehashed Duato (Michailovsky, 2013). All in all, it looked like a vegan diet after a luscious Christmas feast and I left with very mixed feelings. I like my first act to be very lively, a tad untidy, full of people and with a good portion of childlike excitement – this one looked like an expensive shop window in an art nouveau style, with well-behaved and gorgeously dressed mannequins (think Paul Poiret) posing as “Parents” and “Guests” who deign to dance a few steps now and then, and there were NO CHILDREN AT ALL, just corps members playing cutely with the occasional toy. Drosselmeyer was neither scary nor funny, just a friendly middle-aged uncle who brought some presents – none of your ordinary hocus-pocus here, if you please. A neat box was brought in which contained a few dolls which did a few tricks, and away with them…! Poor Ksenia Ovsyanick as Clara did what she could to fill the meagre choreography with life and emotions but there was never a moment where she and Michael Banzhaf as Drosselmeyer could develop this special magic between them which makes her to love her Nutcracker so much that she dreams about him and makes him her Prince. When night falls over an empty stage, a few mice appear which essentially are big rowdy rats, mangy and mean (think Carabosse’s monsters) with a sleazy king who inexplicably takes a fancy in the Nutcracker doll and carries it here and there, and Clara is carried here and there, too, and then Clara is able to grab the doll and then carries it three times across the stage, each time the doll becomes bigger until it is live-sized Denis Vieira who then leads his small army in a thankfully short fight. Because then - at last! - some actual dancing happens! Not much and not spectacular, but for the very first time we were able to see some real joy and a continuous flow of movement. Strangely the choreography looked as if it was conceived for a much tighter space, it didn’t make much use of the (not too huge) stage. 16 Snowflakes came and went, also very tidily and the first act ended with Clara and Prince sitting on the floor, watching the snow fall. Duato has not tried to connect the first and second act somehow or other – so the second act is entirely a revue with a few, short numbers in a sparse but nevertheless kitschy decoration (yes, that’s possible!), and it’s quite incomprehensible what happens here, and why. The flowers waltz in honour of a giant cupcake, looming in the background. But then our heroes appear again, properly clad in tutu and tights, and FINALLY they get a chance to show what they can do – Vieira looks as if he’s relieved of a burden, he has a nice soft jump and partners Ovsyanick beautifully. The choreography is neither Ivanov nor Petipa (as far as I can judge it) but not bad and Ovsyanick’s solo is just beautiful, she has such a lovely back and arms and is remarkably musical. If I had known she and Vieira are cast for Giselle next month I would have skipped this sad Nutcracker, there’s just not enough to see. I’ll gladly go and see this old “Giselle” for the umpteenth time, just because I’m curious how the newcomers handle the meatier roles. All in all, I feel the Staatsballett has lost much of its lustre and nobody knows what will happen in the future. I’d love to love them more, but it’s difficult…!
  18. A DAY OF CONTRAST BETWEEN TWO NUTCRACKERS On Sunday 11th December UKMASTERCLASS has organised a day of contrast between two NUTCRACKERS. This intensive day consists of masterclasses taught by Royal Ballet dancers: VALERI HRISTOV & ITZIAR MENDIZABAL and a three hour workshop with two ​dancers from RE:BOURNE, Matthew Bourne's dance company, New Adventures. On this day you will have a taste of the repertoire from The Royal Ballet's Nutcracker, and in the afternoon, a taste of Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker. Time: 10:00am - 5:30pm Level: Intermediate/Advanced (min. 3 ballet classes p/w) Age: 14 - 18 years Girls & Boys Venue: Rambert Dance Studio, 99 Upper Ground, London SE1 9PP Early Bird booking 10% discount (till 21st October) There will also be a chance to win a scholarship for one of UKMasterclass future events! More info and to book online please visit: www.ukmasterclass.co.uk
  19. Just thought I would start the new feed as this season's Nutcracker is about to begin! Just from rehearsal videos and photos, there is something that seems so different & special about this years run. Whether it is because there seems to be such a large amount of promising young talent throughout the ranks, as I personally would be happy to see any cast. Or maybe it is because there was no Royal Ballet Nutcracker last year? Also I saw a small clip of McRae and Salenko's rehearsals yesterday, and her Sugar Plum looks divine! Their partnership does seem to be quite special!
  20. Swedish Royal Ballet – Nutcracker This “review” rather tells the story than comments on the dance as it is a little different to our usual Nutcrackers, but none the less enjoyable. Obviously being in Sweden it is a Scandinavian version by Par Isberg and revolves around 2 orphans Petter and Lotta (danced by Jens Rosen and Nicole Rhodes) who live with their 3 Aunts. Uncle Blue (Joakim Stephenson) is a family friend (read Drosselmeyer for him) and he steers the story. First off he takes the children to the woods to chop a Christmas tree down and they meet The Charcoal Burner (Dawid Kupinksi) who later morphs into the Enchanted Prince. The housekeeper (Luiza Lopes) becomes the Sugar Plum Fairy equivalent. Gifts are given out by the Christmas Goat (a Swedish traditional figure) but it is Uncle Blue in disguise and he is surprised when a second Christmas Goat appears and gifts a Nutcracker (shaped as a goat) to Lotta and a hobby horse to Petter. The second goat reveals later that he is the Charcoal Burner from the woods. After the festivities Petter and Lotta sleep in front the Christmas tree which is when their imaginations start to run... Instead of the usual soldiers we have the Christmas Goat who along with Petter’s friends battles the Rats. It was really quite funny at one point because a large Christmas cracker was hurled at the rats and after it exploded left one of the rats requiring CPR which was administered by another rat - it was hilarious!! Then the Christmas Goat (Dawid Kupinski) turns into the Prince who is the children’s dream Father and snow starts to fall and come through the window in the form of the Snow Crystals, who are eventually swept away by the Housekeeper. The snowflakes were beautiful with white tutus which had large silver snowflake shapes on them. There was a Lead Snow Crystal and she was danced by Daria Ivanova – she was the best female dancer of the night for me. She is very tall and did some wonderful Italian Fouettes and just had a lovely stage presence. After the snow crystals had gone the children climbed up into the Christmas tree helped by Uncle Blue and from here watch the goings on. In the second Act Uncle Blue is surrounded by “sparklers” and then the housekeeper returns telling that she has killed the Rat King with her broom showing us a flattened rat corpse! The Prince reappears and the housekeeper is transformed, by changing on stage behind Uncle Blue’s huge cape, into SPF then they watch as ornaments on the tree start to dance – Gingerbread Man and his lady, Candy Sticks, Christmas Crackers, followed by Petter who has 3 trained rats which were 3 men dancing in red pointe shoes and finally some Snowmen. The 3 Aunts then sleep walk into the scene (to the Arabian dance music) and are ushered back to bed, and finally the Flowers from the wallpaper dance a beautiful waltz – I think there were a dozen couples dancing the waltz which was very nice. All dreams must come to an end and the children are woken on Christmas Day and set off to Church on a sleigh which was very cleverly done by having 2 fake horses driving towards the back of the stage so they looked almost real. The grand PDD was danced by Kupinksi and Lopes and I have to say that Kupinksi must have been on the stage for 80-90% of the time and danced his socks off. He was very good. I was not so enamoured with Lopes after having seen Ivanova but she danced nicely enough. Also she did not have a tutu but a night dress style dress (rather like Juliet in R&J) so that was a disappointment for me! The children also had a live poodle on the stage and the dog was very well behaved!! The orchestra played beautifully under the baton of Oksana Lyniv (I think!). I noticed from the programme that the Swedish Royal Ballet is due to premiere Wheeldon’s Alice in Wonderland on 6 May 2016 so that would be a good excuse if anyone fancied a trip to Stockholm. The Opera House where the ballet was performed is beautiful – similar to the Opera Garnier in Paris and it too has a fabulous Golden Foyer – full of gilt and chandeliers quite something to see! One tip be careful where you sit – I sat on the end of a row on the second tier and had my view blighted by a huge handrail SO annoying – so avoid end seats as there was no warning when I selected the seat online! Whilst in Stockholm I took the chance to visit the Dance Museum there as they have a small exhibition dedicated to Swan Lake – it was mainly costumes on display along with video loops of 6 different productions of Swan Lake, Mats Ek’s looked weird, but I enjoyed watching the clips of Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake. They also had a little bit on the Dying Swan and one of the videos was the wonderful Paul Ghislain from The Trocks performing their unique version! In the shop I bought myself a swan shaped tea strainer... as you do! Whatever next?! The Dance Museum has recently moved premises and now charges 60Kr (about £5 if that) to enter and also as it is now smaller they have no room for their wonderful bronze sculpture of Galina Ulanova- I had hoped to see this again but was told it is in storage. On display in the main gallery was a nice portrait of a ballerina who had recently died I asked her name but I am not sure it sounded like Rush? The rest of the gallery has costumes and miniature set displays amongst many other stage and theatre items and is worth a visit.
  21. http://www.standard.co.uk/esrewards/english-national-ballet-s-nutcracker-and-le-corsaire-at-the-london-coliseum-a3113696.html?&S2REF=47317
  22. Had hoped that somebody would post up on this 'cos its a terrific show.... I went up for the premiere a couple of weekends ago and had a great time - it's a version that concentrates on Clara and the children and has no odd physiological detailing or, to my mind, strange story twists. Just great dancing in fluid choreography (by founding artistic director Peter Darrell) and glorious costumes by Lez Brotherston whose brief was to re-imagine the originals by Philip Prowse. It's proved a good move and the ending is the best of any Nutcracker I've seen - but won't spoil for you. The TodaysLinks team have been collecting a bunch of reviews - here are the links to get a feel for the new production... Scottish Ballet, The Nutcracker, Edinburgh: Kelly Apter, Scotsman: http://www.scotsman.com/what-s-on/theatre-comedy-dance/ballet-review-the-nutcracker-edinburgh-festival-theatre-1-3634272 Justine Blundell, Edinburgh Guide: http://www.edinburghguide.com/reviews/edinburghswinterfestivals/thenutcrackerfestivaltheatreedinburghreview-15304 Alice Bain, Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/dec/15/nutcracker-scottish-ballet-edinburgh-review Mark Brown, Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/theatre/dance/11294287/The-Nutcracker-Festival-Theatre-Edinburgh-review-near-flawless.html John McLellan, Edinburgh Evening News: http://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/what-s-on/theatre/review-the-nutcracker-1-3638045 DanceTabs: http://dancetabs.com/2014/12/scottish-ballet-the-nutcracker-edinburgh/ Tour details for completeness: http://www.scottishballet.co.uk/the-nutcracker/peter-darrells-the-nutcracker-2014.html If you have seen the show, or catch it on tour - it comes down to Newcastle note, do add some thoughts.
  23. Has anyone seen this production? Do they have live music? Any reviews appreciated thanks This post refers to Giselle
  24. What a wonderful performance from a gallant company. Although they are a relatively new, small company, with young dancers, the standard of dancing and the production is splendid. I am sure hfbrew would be too modest to say so, but her DS is an excellent dancer with an engaging stage presence - he was The Nutcracker in the performance I saw. The choreography is superb, and very musical, with an intelligent story line. It makes good use of all the dancers with many quick costume changes! The music sounded really clear, and the set and costumes all looked fresh and elegant. An evening to remember!
  25. Do you want to discuss individual ballets on this thread or start new ones for each? I have just watched the Mariinsky Nutcracker which was gorgeous. Gergiev was conducting and the orchestra played incredibly well. There were interesting shots of him and the musicians during the Overture and the linking musical passages. The dancing of course was superb, as was the whole production. Masha (Clara) is a child and in a transformation at the beginning of the second act becomes "Masha the Princess", likewise her Nutcracker, a child in the first act becomes an adult Prince in the second act. My only reservation was the choreography for the Grand Pas de Deux, which also incorporated four cavaliers and felt a bit like the Rose Adagio at times. So many good things, but one section I shall remember is the Pas de Trois to the Mirlitons' music performed by three young students. The two girls were slender leggy adolescents and danced ravishingly, but the young man was really outstanding. It is difficult to say how old he was, possibly twelve or thirteen, and he wasn't as tall as the girls even before they stood on pointe. But he partnered with assurance and the audience burst into applause during his short solo moment.
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