A few thoughts...
Kudelka's "Nutcracker" is gorgeous, but like his other full lengths, the plot gets the short end of the stick. In particular, the Nutcracker makes what could be generously called a guest appearance. But, instead, we do get a full evening of Zdenek Konvalina, which is a very nice Christmas gift indeed.
After seeing the ballet a second time, I realized that this production seems to be the least Christmasy Nutcracker out there. It has a wonderfully cozy, special feel, but aside from a partial Christmas tree, this could be any wintery celebration. Not a criticism, but a thought...
Zdenek Konvalina is perfect for the Nutcracker/Peter, but Bridgett Zehr seemed - at least in the first act - a very brittle Sugar Plum Fairy. Her performance was spot on technically, but it didn't have the lushness or the warmth that I've seen from other dancers. Her movements were crisp - getting each limb from point to point - rather than flowing with the music. She did, however, warm up in Act 2, despite some of Kudelka's least inspired choreography. He utterly fails to utilize the glorious crescendos of Tchaikovsky's score.
I find Kudelka exasperating in that way - he has some clever ideas (the bee, the sheep shephardess with her little sheep), and can whip up some spectacular choreography. Yet, there are times when he seems to have stopped listening to the music - like in the Sugar Plum Fairy's pas de deux and the bee solo.
The children were delightful, but the grown up corps, particularly in the spanish/coffee section, needed more rehearsal. The Snow Queen (Xiao Nan Yu?) was impressive, but her two cavaliers seemed to be just barely keeping up with the tricky choreography. There was also a slightly off-kilter partnering moment when Konvalina appeared to pull Zehr off her center in some supported pirouettes. To Konvalina's credit, it's a tricky section of the pas de deux because he has to come in to support Zehr after she starts a series of fouettes on her own. If he's too far away, he risks pulling her off her centre, if he gets in to close it could be painful. Think of it as being between a rock and a knee in the groin.