Nutcracker is second only to Swan Lake, when speaking of world famous ballets. The traditional story, which starts at the Edwards’ family home at Christmas time. Excitement fills the home as Uncle Drosselmeyer unveils his magical powers, treating the hall to a dance by living dolls. Before he presents Young Clara with a wooden soldier nutcracker. During the night, unable to sleep, she returns to the dining hall where the uncle is again working his magic. Where what I encountered was a beautiful and magical set of events which left myself and the whole audience spell bound.
The musical score which runs throughout the production is utterly stunning. Unsurprising when you find out that it is down to the genius Tchaikovsky. The choreography has been crafted around this so the dancers are given a perfect platform on which to broadcast their vast talent. A perfect example of this is during the beautifully choreographed battle between the now living man sized nut cracker and his army of soldiers, and the mouse king and his minions. The physical interaction between the dancers combined with the passionate music creates a vivid living story.
The rise and fall of the score creates tension, building throughout the act before reaching a crescendo which causes the stage to explode into life. Whilst the staging and lighting added another dimension to the story, working as a living piece of the production, rather than a backdrop. The stage was host to a stunning display of dancers representing Arabian Princesses, Russian dancers and beautiful flowers amongst others, giving the whole production a larger scale.
The sugar plumb Fairy, played by Martha Leebolt and her partner Javier Torres who played the Cavalier stole the show during the second act. Their passion for dance was on display for all to see, and their skill and talent exceeded even that. The rest of the performers should be just as proud, with every one of them adding to a beautiful production.