En­chant­ing yule-tide tale brings de­light

The Tribune (NZ) - - YOUR BODY - RICHARD MAYS

The Nutcracker The Im­pe­rial Rus­sian Bal­let Com­pany Artis­tic di­rec­tor/chore­og­ra­phy Ged­im­i­nas Taranda Re­gent on Broad­way, Palmer­ston North Wed­nes­day, Novem­ber 9

Rap­tur­ous ap­plause greeted the fi­nale of The Nutcracker bal­let in all its splen­did pageantry.

Dur­ing this early Christ­mas present from The Im­pe­rial Rus­sian Bal­let Com­pany, the au­di­ence had been treated to breath­tak­ing danc­ing from prin­ci­pals Lina Seve­liova as Clara, and Na­ri­man Bekzhanov as the Nutcracker Prince.

In a vari­a­tion on the orig­i­nal yule-tide story, the cou­ple also per­formed the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cava­lier for the sec­ond act show­case pas de deux with its bravura pirou­ettes, lifts and catches.

The Nutcracker is a multi-lay­ered bal­let that boasted flam­boy­ance and broad char­ac­ter­i­sa­tion cou­pled with more cul­ti­vated mo­ments.

With el­e­gant cos­tumes and sets, some im­pres­sive dance slap­stick from Drosselmeyer’s dolls, and the 40-strong troupe of lo­cal child dancers from the Mau­reen Ax School of Dance per­form­ing as Christ­mas party chil­dren, sol­diers, won­der­fully cos­tumed mice, an­gels, and trum­pet play­ing gnomes, plus a mel­liflu­ous Dou­gal Steven­son voice-over, this ef­fer­ves­cent pro­duc­tion re­ally couldn’t miss.

The chil­dren, their first on­stage re­hearsal with the com­pany tak­ing place that af­ter­noon, took the heady oc­ca­sion and the late night per­for­mance in their stride, do­ing them­selves, their dance teach­ers and shep­herd­ing com­pany mem­bers, proud.

Their pres­ence added im­mea­sur­ably to the colour, flavour and vi­tal­ity of the piece.

Bright, light and spir­ited, this was a real preChrist­mas cracker.

Na­ri­man Bekzhanov as the Nutcracker Prince with Lina Seve­liova as Clara dur­ing the Im­pe­rial Rus­sian Bal­let Com­pany pro­duc­tion of The Nutcracker.

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