If two young boys sitting, capitulated, on the edges of their seats for the duration of the Nutcracker isn’t a resounding endorsement, I don’t know what is. Ballet BC has bought the Alberta Ballet’s Nutcracker back to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (December 28 – 30, 2019). Danced to Tchaikovsky’s glorious music, the story follows the wondrous adventures of Clara, her Nutcracker Prince and the Sugar Plum Fairy. Set at the turn-of-the-century in Imperial Russia, this opulent production has both stunning sets and costumes. The production includes more than 100 children from local dance schools and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra provides live accompaniment.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the story of the Nutcracker, every ballet company mounts a slightly different story. In the Alberta Ballet production, Drosselmeyer tells the story of a young boy (his nephew) who has been turned into a Nutcracker by the vengeful Rat Tsar. The only way for the Nutcracker to revert to his human form is to find someone to love him. At night, when Klara goes to sleep, she is transported into the tale Drosselmeyer relayed at the party. At the end of the battle between the soldiers and mice, the Rat Tsar is dead but the Nutcracker is injured. The Snow Tsarian arrives and saves the Nutcracker. Following the intermission, everyone travels to the Sugar Plum Fairy’s palace to be entertained by guests from around the world.
Without wanting to give anything away, be sure to keep your eyes peeled during the scene with the wolves. The Nutcracker experiences an impressive transformation and a poorly timed blink could cause you to miss it.
In many versions of the Nutcracker the grand pas de deux is performed by Klara and the Nutcracker, however in this version the dances are performed by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her partner, the Sugar Plum Cavalier.
The Nutcracker runs for five performances and tickets can be purchased through ticketmaster.ca or 1-855-985-2787 (855-985-ARTS).
Ballet BC presents The Nutcracker by Albert Ballet:
When: December 28 – 30, 2019
Time: various show times
Where: Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Address: 630 Hamilton Street, Vancouver