NUTCRACKER INSIGHT

AITOR GALENDE, FIRST ARTIST

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The Nutcracker was the first production I danced with the Company when I was still a student at the Royal Ballet School and I was offered my job during the interval in one of the shows still in a Rat costume – a unique experience!

This ballet is a true classic and it is definitely my favourite to perform every year; the whole production is truly a spectacle for the eyes. From the costumes, the sets, the music and the choreography to the energy on and off stage, it is truly magical and special to everyone that is involved in any way.

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There are so many different roles we have the opportunity to dance in this show – I now dance 11. It makes it very challenging, but also exciting to perform from a different point of view every time, whether it is as a doll, an animal or a human! One of my favourite roles is Drosselmeyer’s Assistant in Act 1 as I get to use my acting skills to bring the character to life as opposed to dancing a very technical role. Having said that, my other favourite is the Trepak dance in Act II, because we do a very impressive set of steps that makes the whole number very thrilling for us and the audience. 

Overall the best thing about being involved in this iconic production is being a part of many people’s first classical dance experience during the wonderful festive season. 

Laura Day, Laurence Elliott, Hamish Scott and Aitor Galende in the Russian Dance. Miki Mizutani as Clara and Aitor Galende as her Dancing Partner; Photo: Bill Cooper