REVIEW: Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet performed a collection of magical dances in The Nutcracker at the Cambridge Corn Exchange


nutcracker - Credit: Archant

The Nutcracker ballet has become one of the most famous in the world, even if you’ve never seen it, you’ve most definitely heard of it.

It was first performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, on the December 18 in1892.

126 years later I watched that same ballet, my first live ballet experience, at the Cambridge Corn Exchange this New Year’s Eve 2018.

The ballet is a small scale production and starts on Christmas Eve when a Grandfather arrives and gives his grandchildren, Clara and Fritz, presents. Clara’s present is an ornate nutcracker doll. Fritz is jealous though and breaks the doll. The Grandfather then fixes it magically and Clara falls asleep with the doll under the Christmas tree.

The next part of the ballet takes place in Clara’s dream and the room fills with an army of mice, led by the evil Mouse King.

One of the best scenes then ensues where the Nutcracker doll leads the toys in a chaotic battle against the mice.

Clara throws her slipper at the Mouse King who falls unconscious and is taken away by his mouse army.

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The Nutcracker then transforms into a Prince and takes Clara to an enchanted forest where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy.

They celebrate with a collection of magical ballet dances.

After a grand finale Clara wakes up on Christmas day under the Christmas tree with the Nutcracker doll in her hands.

The most memorable thing for me about the ballet was definitely the music, Russian composer Tchaikovsky’s stunning score is iconic and seeing the ballet and music together was like a late Christmas present.

A short, sweet ballet to look out for when it returns to the Corn Exchange.