In 1816 ETA Hoffman penned his celebrated tale of The Nutcracker and the Mouse King on which this ballet is based. It was first produced in 1892 by the Imperial Ballet at the Marlinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, Russia. For well over a century, this ballet has taken audiences into the world of children at Christmas and their vivid dreams. This choreography was by Ben Stevenson in 1976 and first performed in 1987 by the Houston Ballet in Texas.
Lou Spichtig dances the role of the child Clara with youthful vigour and joy at a Christmas party where the children receive gifts from their parents. The mysterious figure of Dr Drosselmeyer, danced with suitable menace by Jack Lister, arrives on the scene to lend a touch of dark magic. He brings a special gift for Clara, a wooden Nutcracker. At stroke of midnight, King Rat (D’Arcy Brazier) leads his giant mice against Clara who is heroically defended by the Nutcracker and life-sized toy soldiers. The Nutcracker wins the battle and turns into a handsome Prince (Alexander Idaszak).
Lina Kim dances beautifully as the Snow Queen in her pas de deux with the Snow Prince (Liam Geck).
Clara and the Nutcracker Prince depart for the Kingdom of Sweets in an enchanted sleigh which appears to soar to the heavens.
The Queensland Symphony Orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s much loved music with a passion. The Sugar Plum Fairy (Lucy Green) greets Clara and the Nutcracker and entertains them with an international spectacular including a Spanish dance, an Arabian dance and a Chinese dance. The Arabian dancers (Yanela Pinera and Patricio Reve) wow the audience with a powerful chemistry in their pas de deux. David Power’s performance as the Russian Dancer also impresses with splendid leaps.
This Queensland Ballet production expresses the wonder and innocence of childhood set around the tale of a midwinter night’s dream.
Artistic director: Li Cunxin
Choreographer: Ben Stevenson OBE
Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Conductor of Queensland Symphony Orchestra: Nigel Gaynor
Choir: Voices of St Peter’s Lutheran College Choir
Set designer: Thomas Boyd
Costume designer: Desmond Heeley
Associate costume designer: Noelene Hill
Lighting designer: David Walters
Lighting recreated by Cameron Goerg
Performances 13-21 December 2019
Running time: 2 hours with one 20-minute interval.
— Matt Foley(Performance seen: Sat 14th December 2019)