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Nutcracker review

26 Oct 2014

Nutcracker review Image

By Tina Thorburn

The Australian Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker transports the audience from Southbank in spring, to the magic of a European Christmas celebration.

It is Christmas Eve and Clara, a young ballerina, and her family host a party in their lavish home.

To the tune of one Tchaikovsky’s most famous works, guests dance and the story unfolds. An interesting addition to the production, a Jack-in-the-Box leaps across the stage before Clara is given a nutcracker as a gift from a visiting magician, Drosselmeyer.  After the guests leave, the clock strikes midnight, and as expected the enchantment begins.

The real magic of this production is in the set. As the Christmas tree grows to simulate a shrinking Clara, a battle unfolds between rats and life size toy soldiers.

The rat costumes and dance is dramatic, and offers a suitable contrast for Clara’s intimate dance with her nutcracker after the battle.

Act two opens with Clara flying over a snow-covered land of her imagination on a white goose. Drosselmeyer takes Clara’s hand and transports her and the audience all over the world.

The production includes the traditional tea dance of the Chinese and chocolate dance of the Spanish. The costumes are a flurry of lace and colour.

As the sugar plum fairy takes the stage, every child ballerina in the audience sighs in unison. A rose fairy makes a debut appearance in this production of the Nutcracker.

The dancers were impressive and graceful, accompanied by a full orchestra.

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