Dance review by Eric Page: The Moscow City Ballet: Nutcracker

Besi Besemar December 3, 2012

The Moscow City Ballet’s performance of the Nutcracker was captivating last night and a perfect opening to the festive season. Although it’s a little different to the original version it only changes the story a little and what changes there were, were good.  The story more or less stays the same with some innovative changes that keep the flow of this very easy to understand story flowing well.

My companion was enchanted from the moment the curtain went up.  All the dancers were good last night but, for me, the corps de ballets were superb, their ensemble pieces, classic and well known were performed with a smooth refinement that more than compensated for the restricted space of the Theatre Royal’s stage. The sets, costume and lighting all combined to produce some delightful moments.

The principal dancers did what they must and did it well although there were a few times when I felt there were just too many people on stage, and none of them, for me, produced a ‘WOW’ moment. The second half was a success with the set piece Spanish, Russian, Eastern and Chinese Dances bringing applause from the audience. They were very good. The final dances were delightful and brought this show to a fitting end. Great fun, and a good show for the younger members of the audience.

The orchestra conducted by Igor Shavruk kept the atmosphere just right all throughout the production and the music was genuinely moving, keeping the pace of this ballet and allowing the luxurious melodies to play out. It’s always a pleasure to hear live music at the Theatre Royal.

Moscow City Ballet’s distinctive style endures both in production and rehearsal, due to the dedication of Victor Smirnov-Golovanov and his wife, Ludmila Nerubashenko, Chief Ballet Mistress and principal teacher.

All in all a good evening out and an enjoyable new twist on this most loved of Tchaikovsky’s ballets.

For more info or to book tickets see the website here: