The Nutcracker puts families into the Christmas spirit

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The main characters of the ballet The Nutcracker — the prine and Clara, at centre — end an elaborate dance routine at the E.A. Rawlinson centre, Sunday afternoon.

Tyler Clarke

Herald staff

Prince Albert audiences were treated to the most authentic ballet performance of The Nutcracker possible, Sunday.

During two afternoon performances, dancers from Moscow Ballet went through numerous dance routines, costume and set changes to put on the elaborate stage production.

With the ballet premiering in St. Petersburg, Russia, December 18, 1892, it was only fitting that a Russian cast take on the performance.

Although Prince Albert's E.A. Rawlinson Centre was the smallest venue on the dancers' Canadian tour, with the troupe even performing in a Kamloops hockey arena, they still pulled out all the stops.

Large backdrops rolled up and down, creating numerous settings within the ballet - the first of which indicating Christmas Eve, where a family gathers for pre-Christmas celebrations.  

Although the intricacies of the wordless ballet's plot were at time difficult to pinpoint, the bulk of the first act had to do with the production's main character, Clara, enjoying a pre-Christmas gift of a Nutcracker. When a peer purposely breaks the nutcracker, she imagines the nutcracker coming alive only to go up against an army of mice.

With a crowd well populated with youngsters, the ballet's second act was more audience friendly, consisting of various groups dancing in celebration of the nutcracker's defeat of the mouse army.

Most pleasing to the young viewers were a number of dancers dressed as large animals, including lions, elephants, and even a dragon - representing different areas of the world coming together in celebration.

With the E.A. Rawlinson Centre's lobby having a number of children dancing about, imitating the dancer's they'd seen on-stage, The Nutcracker appears to have been well received.


Organizations: Prince Albert, E.A. Rawlinson Centre, Moscow Ballet

Geographic location: St. Petersburg, Russia, Kamloops

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