THE NUTCRACKER: Pyotyr Tchaikovsky
Choreography: Peter Wright, Lev Ivanov, Vincent Redmon
Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB)
Runs: 2h, 20m, one interval
Birmingham Hippodrome: To 13 12 14
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 04 12 14
It’s here again; heart-warming as ever.
Birmingham Royal Ballet’s annual seasonal treat, THE NUTCRACKER is out on the table once more. For many (me included) is marks the start of the holiday period and long may it do so. It’s as charming and fresh as ever.
Created to show off the skills of a dance company, BRB’s company have the skills to show off. This is as true of the ensemble sections as it is of the other set pieces.
Laura Purkiss brings a totally engaging youthful joy to Clara, she combines grace and personality. We share her sense of wonder as the story unfolds, her pleasure is palpable, and, increasingly as the story moves onwards, her sheer joy in dancing. It’s infectious delight. Tzu-Chao Chou partners her with great charm. They’re a lovely pair.
In the first half, Yvette Knight (Clara’s Mother) is particularly striking in her solo – warm and dignified. And you’d really like Marion Tait and Oliver Till to repeat their grandparent dance – it’s over too quickly.
In the second half, Laura Purkiss dances her solo with great beauty, and Elisha Willis and Cesar Morales have you holding your breath in the Grand pas de deux.
My favourite sequence, though, is the Arabian Dance. The theatre becomes hushed, the strings slide up and down to their notes, and then totally in harmony with this atmosphere, Delia Mathews, Henry Dowden, Brandon Lawrence, Luke Schaufuss glide into the dance. It is thrillingly sensuous. I never tire of it, and this quartet make the artistic most of every millisecond.
Valentin Olovyannikov (the Magician) is a fine commanding presence throughout.
(Full Credits to follow)