5 December 2016 at 4.12pm | 9 Comments
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On Christmas Eve, a young girl called Clara creeps downstairs to play with her favourite present – a nutcracker. But a mysterious magician, Drosselmeyer, is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure.
After defeating the Mouse King, the Nutcracker and Clara travel through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Sweets, where the Sugar Plum Fairy treats them to an amazing display of dances.
Back home, Clara thinks she must have been dreaming – until she bumps into a handsome young man that looks just like her Nutcracker soldier...
The Nutcracker is based on a fairy tale by E.T.A Hoffmann. The story was first brought to the stage in 1892, when the director of the Russian Imperial Theatre commissioned Tchaikovsky to create the now iconic score. Lev Ivanov provided the original choreography.
Peter Wright's staging of The Nutcracker was first performed by The Royal Ballet more than 30 years ago and includes a magical Christmas tree which appears to grow during the iconic transformation scene.
Julia Trevelyan Oman’s designs draw upon 19th-century images of Christmas, which deliver sparkle and charm in abundance for the festive season.
During Clara’s visit to the Kingdom of Sweets she is accompanied by some of the best-known melodies in ballet, including the flurrying sounds of the Waltz of the Snowflakes and the dream-like Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.
The Waltz of the Snowflakes is one of the best-loved moments in Lev Ivanov’s original production of The Nutcracker. Peter Wright incorporated the original choreography in his 1984 production. With the help of Professor Roland John Wiley, he reconstructed the floor patterns danced by Ivanov’s female corps de ballet, forming his own version of this glittering snowstorm.
Read audience reactions to this Season's opening night and add your own review.
After the relay, we will publish a roundup of audience tweets, so share your thoughts with the hashtag #ROHnutcracker.
The production will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 8 December 2016. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.