‘Whether you’re a ballet enthusiast or you haven’t seen a ballet before, The Nutcracker is the show to watch this Christmas.’ Read LEAP Ambassador Lucie’s review:
On Wednesday 30 November, I watched Sir Peter Wright’s The Nutcracker at the Hippodrome. I adored it - every single element of the show worked in an effortless tandem to create a magical atmosphere. The Birmingham Royal Ballet’s performance of The Nutcracker is unique; having revolutionised the role of Clara as well as featuring new choreography by Vincent Redmon. I really encourage people to watch it if they do have the chance; it was a phenomenal performance and I guarantee you’ll enjoy it. Even if you don’t know the story of The Nutcracker, you will have no trouble following along with the story thanks to the amazing special effects and set work. For me, the scene where Drosselmeyer shrinks Clara stands out - the way the scenery grew in front of my eyes was truly magical. Every part of the performance clearly has lots of love put into it, and each dancer displays an incredible level of skill and performance quality, creating fascinating characters and powerful villains. The Stahlbaum family is dynamic, and their party is really fascinating to watch unfold. Each performer acts through the story like it’s a silent film. Drosselmeyer’s tricks are amazing, and the dancers behind them really bring the roles to life. Some of my favourite characters were; Drosselmeyer’s Assistant, the Columbine, the Harlequin, and the Rat King.
The costume of every single performer was beautiful, every single one a piece of art in and of itself. The rats and the toy soldiers created an interesting juxtaposition during their fight scene in act 1; the uniform movements of the soldiers and the feral energy of the rats meshed wonderfully. This scene was also full of tension, created by the orchestra, set and lighting - especially when each side was dragging off their losses and the central showdown between the Nutcracker and the Rat King. The special effects in the show also made some magical moments; the opening to act 2 featured Clara flying across the stage on a swan, with rats emerging from the fog below her. This was a beautiful scene which really enraptured me.
The quality of the performance was amazing. Watching made me even more excited for Christmas, and reminded me of when I was younger and had ballet lessons. The amount of work that every member of the Birmingham Royal Ballet Company puts into every single performance is unimaginable. I felt inspired by the creativity of the entire production and how personal the performance felt. No matter whether you’re a ballet enthusiast or you haven’t seen a ballet before, The Nutcracker is the show to watch this Christmas.