... and that day is today! We caught up with our three new Nutcracker Princes this year ahead of their debuts to find out how they've been preparing, what they're looking forward to and capture these beautiful rehearsal images from Ty Singleton (Dancers Eye Photography).
"I dance 12 different roles in The Nutcracker so it’s important to learn each role very thoroughly so that once shows start it’s easier to swap between them each day. They all require slightly different thought - some are character based and others are more classical, which makes it hard work swapping between them but also lots of fun. It’s fascinating that each year, roles I have done previously still seem to be in my muscle memory and I usually just have to perfect the technicalities of each step again.
Preparing to dance the Prince was quite different to other roles. Putting aside the obvious pressures such as performing such a special role and being more nervous, it is such an iconic role, and we have all watched it so many times that I’m sure every dancer would be able to perform a rendition of it if you asked them to! What I tried to focus on when rehearsing was the finer details - the elements of the arms and positions of the feet that bring the feel and look a Prince would possess. It requires an easy confidence that makes people feel comfortable watching you and also understand that your character is an established one. In the Grand Pas de deux it was important to perfect each position in order for me to compliment the Sugar Plum Fairy. It is such an elegant Pas de deux that requires a lot of control while making it look easy. It is also very important to build up stamina for it; you always want a little extra energy stored in your body during the show to respond to things in the moment and not to have to hold back!"Lachlan Monaghan
"I'll be debuting in The Nutcracker as The Prince this year and I tend to prepare for all the roles I dance in the same kind of way; the biggest mistake I’ve made was trying to change my routine before a debut show a few years ago - it threw me off completely, so I stick to my usual routine now!
The Nutcracker Prince is different to anything I’ve ever done before however. Earlier this year I danced Franz in Coppélia and the title role in Aladdin so,whilst I've danced principal roles before, they have both been quite 'cheeky' roles whereas the Prince is so refined and pure. I will be dancing the Grand Pas de deux in Act II with Nao Sakuma, one of our Principals as the Sugar Plum Fairy. Nao has been incredible to work with, it has been such an honour to dance with her and a chance I never thought I’d get - she’s so experienced and has so much knowledge to pass on - it’s been a great learning experience as well! This role is something that I’ve relished working on in the studio and I really can’t wait to get onstage and perform!"Max Maslen
Edivaldo Souza da Silva
"I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to perform this role in Sir Peter Wright's Nutcraker as my first ever principal role in a full length ballet - it is really special as it is such a technically demanding role and it really takes all you've got to tell the story with a serenity of a true prince. Stepping into the role has been made even more special for me as I've had the chance to dance alongside two wonderful partners in Delia Mathews as the Sugar Plum Fairy and Miki Mizutani as Clara. As they have both danced these roles before, they have kindly shared their experiences and time generously in rehearsal with me, which has been wonderful.
The preparation for this role really differs from any other role I have performed with BRB before - I've received valuable notes from both Marion Tait and David Bintley and I've also had the opportunity to work closely with Iain Mackay, one of our most experienced principal dancers. Iain has been working with us on the preparation for the Grand Pas de deux in Act II and his expert coaching has been essential on helping me to truly bring the Prince alive and make the most of my potential in this challenging scene. I am very much looking forward to performing this role and I do hope the audience looking forward to attending it too!"Edivaldo Souza da Silva