A magical evening of ballet
By Ann Evans
The Russian State Ballet & Opera House returned to Coventry for three days as part of their UK tour. Ann Evans went to see The Nutcracker.
The magnificent Russian State Ballet & Opera House are currently on a UK tour bringing ballet to the British public. The ballet company are performing one-night only shows of Giselle, Swan Lane and The Nutcracker accompanied by the 30-piece Russian State Symphony Orchestra of Astrakhan, conducted by Evgenii Kirilov.
I was delighted to watch the ever-popular Nutcracker with music by Tchaikovsky. This magical Christmas story tells of Marie (although it was Clara in the original story) and her wooden Nutcracker doll who are celebrating Christmas Eve with family and friends when a magician arrives. He magics some of the toys to life: Harlequin, tin soldiers, large grey mice, an even larger Mouse King.
The Magician also brings Marie’s favourite toy to life – a wooden Nutcracker. But after being injured fighting the Mouse King the Nutcracker awakens as a handsome prince. Love blossoms between Marie and her prince, and act one ends with a sparkling dance amid a swirl of snowflakes under a star-studded sky.
In act 2 Marie and the Prince find the kingdom of their dreams. A splendid ball is underway hosted by the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Coqueluche. Guests are dolls in national costume all brought to life: Spanish, Arabian, Chinese, Russian and French who each in turn entertain by dancing their traditional dance. This is followed by spectacular solo dances by the Sugar Plum Fairy (Marina Nomyrova) and her Prince. However, the Magician casts his magic over them all, and once again they are nothing but toys. Marie is left holding her Nutcracker doll knowing it had all been a beautiful dream.
The Nutcracker is such a fun ballet to watch. It’s vibrant and lively with sumptuous costumes and delightful characters. All of the dancers play their roles with elegance and excellence. The principal dancers are superb, creating pure magic that you remember long after you’ve left the theatre.
The company continue on their tour of the UK, performing Swan Lake, Giselle and The Nutcracker daily until early December.
For more details visit: www.russian-state-ballet.co.uk