A real cracker of an evening

PUBLISHED: 11:18 18 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

WHAT a wonderful performance by The European Ballet, accompanied by children from Karen Graham Dance and Fitness Club, at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage. Pity it wasn t supported by the community. It was one of the best ballets I have seen. The sto

WHAT a wonderful performance by The European Ballet, accompanied by children from Karen Graham Dance and Fitness Club, at the Gordon Craig Theatre, Stevenage. Pity it wasn't supported by the community. It was one of the best ballets I have seen.

The story of The Nutcracker, music by Tchaikovsky, is based upon the Silberhaus family on Christmas Eve as they greet friends and relatives to their house. Daughter Clara, 15 (Sophie Collas) and Fritz (Anna Watkins) her younger brother are given presents by their godfather, Drosselmeyer (Vincent Cabot). Fritz receives a hobby horse and Clara a wooden Nutcracker doll in the guise of a soldier, she instantly adores it and the children taunt each other with the gifts until her doll is broken. Drosselmeyer manages to restore it and she is happy.

The guests leave and the family retire to bed. Clara slips downstairs as the clock strikes midnight in search of her present, although she is frightened of finding mice. Suddenly she is surrounded by them, including the mouse King (Krill Bolychev). Terrified she tries to escape and as if in a dream her Nutcracker breaks into life and brings toy soldiers and a canon to fight the invaders! Battle ensues until exhausted he falls, Clara gathers him in her arms whereas he awakes as a prince and they dance away into fairyland.

They arrive at his palace in the Kingdom of Sweets where we are treated to some delicious dance before the happy couple celebrate their wedding.

Beautifully choreographed it was a joy to watch, with excellent dancing from all involved.

Maureen Millard


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