Choreographed by Francois Klaus
Music by Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Give your family a Christmas treat and take them along to this wonderful journey through the innocence and beauty of childhood dreams!
The principal role of Clara is danced magnificently by Rachael Walsh. She transports the audience from the playful mischief of contesting with her brother for a teddy bear into the fairy story dream of the nutcracker, rats and soldiers, while soloist Zachary Chant is in his element as Drosselmeyer, the magician, conductor and theatre director. He opens and closes the show as well as providing an accomplished partner for Rachael Walsh’s brilliant tour de force.
Walsh continues to show her amazing versatility. Her performance is an epiphany of fluid grace. She also combines with Zachary Chant to give a classic comic performance in the Chinese Dance sequence.
The company was in fine form with many delightful performances, including that of soloists, Renee Von Stein (Clara’s sister, Sophia), Nathan Scicluna (Sophia’s lieutenant suitor) and Clare Morehen in the sensual Arabian Dance.
Tchaikovsky’s music is as familiar as it is evocative. In the second act, the audience is led through a delightful dream sequence including clowns, Russian Dance and the Waltz of the Flowers. It remains a matter of sad comment that despite the riches of the resources boom, the Commonwealth Government could not find the funds to enable the Queensland Ballet to have a live orchestra. On occasions, the richness of Tchaikovsky’s stringed melodies was lost with the limitations of recorded music. Perhaps incoming Arts Minister, Peter Garrett, could put this on his list of things to do! If he cannot change everything after the election perhaps he can start with this.
The costumes designed by Noelene Hill were exquisite, particularly in The Land of Snow where the shimmering white costumes took the audience into an ethereal space. David Walters’ lighting relieved the mystical white with a touch of pale blue. You could almost forget you were in the midst of a Queensland summer (and don’t forget that the Queensland Ballet will perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in March).
At a time when Christmas has become so commodified, it is refreshing to experience such a triumph of the wonder of childhood imagination.
Playing: 14 – 22 December 2007
Running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes (including 20 minute interval)