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7th December 2011

A cracking show!

I doubt any of us have ever had a Christmas quite as captivating as the Edwards’ family Christmas in The Nutcracker. There are similarities of course; huge family gathering, a feast and even perhaps dancing. But how about a magic uncle, toys that come to life and a thrilling battle between mice and men? This […]
A cracking show!

I doubt any of us have ever had a Christmas quite as captivating as the Edwards’ family Christmas in The Nutcracker.

There are similarities of course; huge family gathering, a feast and even perhaps dancing. But how about a magic uncle, toys that come to life and a thrilling battle between mice and men? This is the Christmas that awaits Clara, the youngest daughter of the Edwards family and the protagonist of the story. This show takes you on a journey of musical and visual delight: it’s childhood Christmas nostalgia at its very best!

The beauty of The Nutcracker is that it is accessible to anyone. Yes, it’s a ballet but don’t let that scare you off. In David Nixon’s version, the Northern Ballet gives us not only classical ballet but an eclectic mix of dancing styles. A ballroom dance, stunning solo performances, comic stomping mice, robotic life size toys, Spanish, Arab, Chinese and Russian dancers. The choreography, set and costume designs, impressive, intricate and charming themselves, combined with the prowess and elegance of the dancers served to make the show entirely mesmerizing.

Tchaikovsky’s music, performed by the Northern Ballet Sinfonia, has enjoyed enormous popularity since the opening of The Nutcracker in 1892, unlike the ballet itself which, interestingly, was not a huge success until the mid 20th century. As Act II unfolds, Tchaikovsky’s unforgettable music really takes a hold. You might think you are unfamiliar with the music but somewhere, lurking in the back of your mind is bound to be the spirited sounds of ‘The Russian Dance’ or the alluring melody of the ‘Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy’.

It might be the Nutcracker himself that enchants Clara, but this performance has so much to offer. You cannot help but be whisked away into the magical winter wonderland brought to life by Charles Cusick Smith, Tchaikovsky’s famous score and David Nixon’s Northern Ballet.


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