Ballet BC’s The Nutcracker is a Russian dreamscape

With beautiful sets and stunning costumes, this production shines as a great performance for all ages. Ballet BC presents Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre through December 30th.

The choreography was less complex than other performances I have seen, but choreographer Edmund Stripe instead focused on telling the story of the Nutcracker over highlighting specific dancers. Despite the occasional missteps and stilted movements, I was won over by the miming, humour, and playfulness.

This is a show that introduces many children to ballet, and it always helps to have a large cast of children engaged in the show. Beverly Bagg gracefully organized the children’s cast into a wonderful troupe acting as party boys and girls, mice, soldiers, and rats.

Emmy award-winning Zack Brown created the stunning sets and costumes for the production. The main set in act one was a picturesque scene for the family’s Christmas festivities based on Tchaikovsky’s own drawing room. Later, when Clara shrunk to watch the battle scene between the mice and soldiers, we had new sets enlarging the previous room into the mouse’s view.

Ballet BC Nutcracker 2017The lighted curtains and window backgrounds easily placed us in this magical Russian world and the costumes also brought out a turn of the 20th century Imperial flare. The girls were dressed as Russian princesses, the mice soldiers were Cossacks, and the wolves were personified in beautiful, white fur.

Overall, The Nutcracker was a beautiful, dreamy wonderland with some fine performances. It was a great winter tradition, as ever.

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