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 Post subject: Latvian National Ballet's "Nutcracker"
PostPosted: Thu Dec 19, 2002 5:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
The Nutcracker @ The Lowry
By Robert Beale for Manchester online

ONE thing the Lowry has got right in bringing over the Latvian National Ballet for their second visit this year is the timing. The Nutcracker just has to be the ideal Christmas ballet, and it's here for nearly two weeks.

Whereas their first trip offered the comparative rarity of La Sylphide, this time the question was how their version of the old favourite would compare with all the others.

Every ballet director or producer likes to put a personal stamp on The Nutcracker, and since there is really no such thing as an authentic version, they all have a pretty free hand.

This one keeps it firmly in the 19th century, which is where it began and where, I think, its magic lies. The sets are simple by comparison with some UK versions, but probably as good as we have a right to expect when they must be shipped across the Channel to get here. The costumes are sumptuous and striking, and the lighting effective enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Latvian National Ballet's "Nutcracker"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 3:15 am 
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Joined: Tue Sep 05, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 3129
Location: Guildford, Surrey, UK
Review in the Guardian.

Quote:
The Latvian National Ballet's version of the Christmas treat takes us straight back to 1890s Yuletide. The lavish art-nouveau decor of the Stahlbaums' salon gives way to frozen trees and icy wastes as Clara and her Nutcracker Prince make their way by troika to the barley-sugar twist palace of the Kingdom of Sweets. The production is amusing and gentle - even the demon multi-headed Mouse King isn't too scary - and gimmicks are kept to a minimum: Drosselmeyer (an elegant fakir from Igors Pavlenins) sprouts real flames from his fingertips, and the Christmas tree magically grows.
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 Post subject: Re: Latvian National Ballet's "Nutcracker"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 4:08 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Great news for Baltic dance that this production is well received. Bear in mind that Latvia is about the same size as Wales with a population of only 2.5 million.

I'll be seeing Estonian National Ballet's "Nutcracker" in Tallinn over the holiday period and hope it is as enjoyable as this one.


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 Post subject: Re: Latvian National Ballet's "Nutcracker"
PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 8:36 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 06, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 1638
Location: London UK
Small country maybe, but BIG talents. The great Maris Liepa was Latvian and his children Andris and Ilse are still contributing to the richness of the ballet scene in Russia.


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 Post subject: Re: Latvian National Ballet's "Nutcracker"
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2003 6:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
One I missed earlier in the month:

The Nutcracker @ The Lowry
Robert Beale

ONE thing the Lowry has got right in bringing over the Latvian National Ballet for their second visit this year is the timing. The Nutcracker just has to be the ideal Christmas ballet, and it's here for nearly two weeks.

Whereas their first trip offered the comparative rarity of La Sylphide, this time the question was how their version of the old favourite would compare with all the others.

Every ballet director or producer likes to put a personal stamp on The Nutcracker, and since there is really no such thing as an authentic version, they all have a pretty free hand.

This one keeps it firmly in the 19th century, which is where it began and where, I think, its magic lies. The sets are simple by comparison with some UK versions, but probably as good as we have a right to expect when they must be shipped across the Channel to get here. The costumes are sumptuous and striking, and the lighting effective enough.

click for more


Top
 Profile E-mail  
 
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