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The Royal Ballet's performances of Sir Peter Wright's production of The Nutcracker are about to resume, so I thought I'd start a thread for discussing them. Unfortunately, we no longer appear to have a tree structure for splitting into different performances, so I guess we'll have to play it by ear and see what works best.

 

Anyway, here's a link back to DaveM's photos taken at the dress rehearsal: http://www.ballet.co...racker_roh_1211

 

Unfortunately, I can't yet see how to insert one here in time-honoured fashion - I get an error message saying that I can't use that extension here, or something.

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Actually, it occurred to me last night, with all these Nutcrackers around: we know that Festival Ballet started their tradition of Nutcrackers back around 1950 (and has continued it just about every year since), but I suddenly realised I didn't know when the Royal Ballet succumbed. I don't remember hearing of any productions of theirs prior to Nureyev's, although I guess there must have been?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some incidental pleasure from the matinee on 3 Jan:

 

An ardent Nutcracker from Alexander Campbell, a vivid Drosselemeyer's assistant from Paul Kay, a razor sharp Clara's partner from Ludovic Ondiviela - and Gary Avis continued his gallery of vivid character portrayals with a lubricous captain that put me in mind of certain elderly royal prince.

 

The production looked more brightly lit than I recall (which meant the magical wires were more visible in act one), but Julia Trevelyan Oman's palette of pointing, moss and taupe is still dull.

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Alison:

 

A belated reply to your question of 29 December using that indispensable reference, Alexander Bland's "The Royal Ballet - the First 50 Years." The Nureyev production of February 1968 was apparently the first for the company, as such.

 

There had however, been a Sadler's Wells Ballet production of "Casse-Noisette" from 1934 which appears not not to have survived beyond the war as "its nursery charms would not fit into the setting of the Royal Opera House." The book's Repertory annexe indicates that there were performances until 1944 with, for the London company, the final PDD being revived as a Gala divert in 1958 (Fonteyn, Somes), 1964 (Nerina, Blair) and 1965 (Beriosova, Blair).

 

Turning to the annexe on the Touring Companies, things seem to have been a bit different. The Sadler's Wells Theatre Ballet has performances of the Act III PDD listed from 1946 to 1950/51. A new production (Ivanov, arranged by Ashton) was mounted from September 1951 and repeated till 1953, and the entry carries a note "Acts II/III only." I read that the production omitted the Act I party at the Stahlbaums and so became " a set of divertissements, with a chaste white decor and costumes by Cecil Beaton." However, the Act III PDD alone is listed for a handful of performances in 1953, 1957 and 1958.

 

Possibly more than you needed to know!

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I unashamedly and unreservedly love Nutcracker, so enjoying the current run enormously. Have seen some wonderful performances too - Yuhui Choe and Sergei Polunin the other evening, for example, were wonderful as SPF and her rather dashing prince. Sarah Lamb was also a divine SPF (not far off Miyako Yoshida standard for me - as high a praise as I can manage). Laura Morera and Emma Maguire have both shone as Rose (the former also a lovely SPF). Alina Cojocaru and Johan Kobborg made the gpdd in a real performance, not just an interlude in the skimy plot! Gary Avis was a magical Drosselmeyer. Have loved all the Claras I've seen too. Fun fun! :-)

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