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The Nutcracker, Moscow City Ballet – Richmond Theatre, London

Composer:PyotrTchaikovsky
Director:VictorSmirnov­-Golanov
Reviewer:CavelleLeigh

Tchaikovsky’sTheNutcracker,isunfailinglylinkedtothegaietyofChristmas(andfortheeighty’s childamongusHomeAlone).NevermindthenthatthisoneisperformedinFebruaryatthe RichmondTheatre,thoughquiteaptly,foraworkbythefamouscomposer,bytheMoscowCity Ballet. IttellsthestoryofyoungClara,whohastheultimateGodfatherinDrosselmeyer.Notonlydoeshe dressupasSantaandspoilherwithtoysatChristmas,hemakesthemcomealive.Cueamagical balletthathasenchantedadultsandchildrenalikeforoveracentury.

Inacolourfulfirstscene,oneseesClara(YuliaZhuravleva)andherbrotherFritz(NinoUchava) eagerlyanticipatingChristmasday,duringaChristmasEvepartyheldbytheirfather.Enter’life andsoul’Drosselmeyer(SergeiSaliev)whomightbedescribedasTHEgodfather.Firstdressedas FatherChistmas,thenasamagicianhetreatsClaratotheNutcrackerDoll(thecharmingValeriy Kravtsov),MouseKingDoll(themenacingYaroslavAlekhnovich)andDoll(theplayfulMarina Larina)whomiraculouslyawakenclosetomidnight.

Whatshouldunfoldisabewitchingfairytale,yetwhileitisn’twhollydisappointing,thisrather formattedproductionoffersnothingbywayoforiginality.Itretainsatraditionalstylethroughout, whichinitselfnobadthing.Howeveritappearstobesomewhatrepetitive,witheachscene notably
similartothelast. Thefirstactisratherchaotic,withperhapstoomanyofthecorpsdeballetpresent
forastage restrictedinsize.Unfortunatelytheylackedtheprecisionandsynchronisationonemight
expectof suchthishighlyregardedcompany,anddonnedseeminglycheapcostumesthaton
occasionwould bebetterplacedinaChristmaspanto.

MorepromisewasshowninthesecondactwithiconicscenesliketheLandoftheSnowflakesand theWaltzoftheFlowers.MostenjoyablyistheLandoftheSweetswheretheaudienceis transportedtoArabia,SpainandChinainamedleyofexoticdanceperformedbyEkaterina Tokareva,EkaterinaOdarenko,ElenaKotelkinaandMikharuNishi.Assolo,pasdedeuxorpas detrois,ballerinasoftheMoscowCityBallettrulyshowtheirstrength.TheNutcrackerPrince (KanatNadyrbek),theMouseKing(TalgatKozhabaev),theFlowerFairy(LiliyaOrekhova)and againClara(Zhuravleva)alldisplayedcontrolledandgiftedtechnique,leavingtheimpression oncemorethatthecorpsdeballet,oftenstatic,weresurplustorequirements.

Overallthisadaptationleavesoneunaffectedeitherway.OnefeelsthattheMoscowCityBallet hasmuchpotentialbutalittlemorecreativityandperfectionismwouldnotgounrewarded.

Runsuntil2nd March (then touring)

Composer:PyotrTchaikovsky Director:VictorSmirnov­-Golanov Reviewer:CavelleLeigh Tchaikovsky'sTheNutcracker,isunfailinglylinkedtothegaietyofChristmas(andfortheeighty's childamongusHomeAlone).NevermindthenthatthisoneisperformedinFebruaryatthe RichmondTheatre,thoughquiteaptly,foraworkbythefamouscomposer,bytheMoscowCity Ballet. IttellsthestoryofyoungClara,whohastheultimateGodfatherinDrosselmeyer.Notonlydoeshe dressupasSantaandspoilherwithtoysatChristmas,hemakesthemcomealive.Cueamagical balletthathasenchantedadultsandchildrenalikeforoveracentury. Inacolourfulfirstscene,oneseesClara(YuliaZhuravleva)andherbrotherFritz(NinoUchava) eagerlyanticipatingChristmasday,duringaChristmasEvepartyheldbytheirfather.Enter'life andsoul'Drosselmeyer(SergeiSaliev)whomightbedescribedasTHEgodfather.Firstdressedas FatherChistmas,thenasamagicianhetreatsClaratotheNutcrackerDoll(thecharmingValeriy Kravtsov),MouseKingDoll(themenacingYaroslavAlekhnovich)andDoll(theplayfulMarina Larina)whomiraculouslyawakenclosetomidnight. Whatshouldunfoldisabewitchingfairytale,yetwhileitisn'twhollydisappointing,thisrather formattedproductionoffersnothingbywayoforiginality.Itretainsatraditionalstylethroughout, whichinitselfnobadthing.Howeveritappearstobesomewhatrepetitive,witheachscene notably similartothelast. Thefirstactisratherchaotic,withperhapstoomanyofthecorpsdeballetpresent forastage restrictedinsize.Unfortunatelytheylackedtheprecisionandsynchronisationonemight expectof suchthishighlyregardedcompany,anddonnedseeminglycheapcostumesthaton occasionwould bebetterplacedinaChristmaspanto. MorepromisewasshowninthesecondactwithiconicscenesliketheLandoftheSnowflakesand theWaltzoftheFlowers.MostenjoyablyistheLandoftheSweetswheretheaudienceis transportedtoArabia,SpainandChinainamedleyofexoticdanceperformedbyEkaterina Tokareva,EkaterinaOdarenko,ElenaKotelkinaandMikharuNishi.Assolo,pasdedeuxorpas detrois,ballerinasoftheMoscowCityBallettrulyshowtheirstrength.TheNutcrackerPrince (KanatNadyrbek),theMouseKing(TalgatKozhabaev),theFlowerFairy(LiliyaOrekhova)and againClara(Zhuravleva)alldisplayedcontrolledandgiftedtechnique,leavingtheimpression oncemorethatthecorpsdeballet,oftenstatic,weresurplustorequirements. Overallthisadaptationleavesoneunaffectedeitherway.OnefeelsthattheMoscowCityBallet hasmuchpotentialbutalittlemorecreativityandperfectionismwouldnotgounrewarded. Runsuntil2nd March (then touring)

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A little more creativity needed

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