Young get chance to shine on stage
experience for the director – and not just because she will be on stage.
“That Phoenix has reached this point is extraordinary. The challenge for me personally is to make sure that I also leave a legacy that will allow the company to continue to flourish for the next 30 years.” FRESH from their triumph at the National Lottery Awards, Northern Ballet continue their winning streak with this sparkling fairy-tale.
A charming curtain-raiser for Christmas, David Nixon’s traditional favourite is prettily staged in the Regency period with fondant costumes, whirling snowflakes and waltzing roses. Young Clara is whisked away in an enchanted sleigh with her Nutcracker Prince.
Wide-eyed but blossoming into womanhood Pippa Moore is an engaging Clara, perfectly partnered by Ashley Dixon, tender and fleet-footed as her dashing prince. They are a powerful duo, which sadly was not the case for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier in the virtuoso fireworks of the Grand pas de Deux. French pocket rocket Julie Charlet was as ever light and dazzling, fully in command of the soaring Tchaikovsky score. But she was ill-matched with John Hull, whose partnering was a tad lumpen, despite the spectacular one-handed lift.
In the earlier battle the Mouse King with his pinkbellied subjects almost had us reaching for our hankies when vanquished by the Nutcracker and his hobbyhorse cavalry.
The rich red and gold pavilion, like a giant tea caddy, is a wonderful backdrop for the national dances, including a spirited Spanish from Victoria Sibson and fun Chinese acrobatics with Sebastian Loe and Nicola Gervasi. A festive treat to bring the child out in us all. AUDITIONS are being held for a youth theatre group at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds.
They will focus on musical performance and variety theatre skills and are being held on November 21 and 22.
While the intake of most youth theatres stops at 16, the auditions are open to anyone aged between eight and 21.
Those interested in auditioning for the City Varieties Youth Theatre can book a place by calling Rachel Moyise on 0113 29 77 043 or email Rachel. moyise@leedsgrandtheatre. com.
FESTIVE TREAT: Northern Ballet’s production of the popular Christmas ballet, The Nutcracker.