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Wednesday, 30 December 2020

The only live performances of The Nutcracker in the UK?

The Nutcracker Re-imagined - Alexandra Dariescu, Nicky Henshall, Barry Drummond, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
The Nutcracker Re-imagined - Alexandra Dariescu, Nicky Henshall, Barry Drummond, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - dress rehearsal

For a reason that I've never really been able to fathom, Tchaikovsky's 1892 ballet The Nutcracker (with original choreography by Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov) has become a firm Christmas favourite. The original ballet was not a great success in Imperial Russia, but once Ninette de Valois' Vic-Wells Ballet gave the first performance outside Russia in 1934, it steadily grew in popularity, despite the work's poor dramaturgy. Perhaps it's the Kingdom of the Sweets and all that snow!

But this year is different, and ballet companies all over have cancelled Nutcrackers, so that a brave and imaginative venture in Liverpool seems to be the only live performance of The Nutcracker in the UK. Pianist Alexandra Dariescu was originally due to perform her imaginative theatre piece, The Nutcracker and I [see my review] in Liverpool, but this has imaginatively been re-thought and expanded. 

So for The Nutcrakcer re-imagined Alexandra Dariescu is joined by the brass and percussion ensemble of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and dancers Nicky Henshall and Barry Drummond, narrator Lucy Drever to perform an adaptation of the original story by Jessica Duchen with choreography by Jenna Lee. 

The Nutcracker Re-imagined - Alexandra Dariescu, Nicky Henshall, Barry Drummond, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - dress rehearsal
The Nutcracker Re-imagined - Alexandra Dariescu, Nicky Henshall, Barry Drummond, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra - dress rehearsal

Full details from the Liverpool Philharmonic website.

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