P. I. Tchaikovsky is considered to be Russia’s great symphonic composer. In his music he achieved a synthesis of the national musical language of Russia and the compositional forms of the western European Romantics. His most famous ballets enjoy a position of honor in the Classical Ballet repertoire on account of their melodic intensity and instrumental brilliance. In the fairy tale “The Nutcracker and the King of the Mice” written by the German Romantic E. T. A. Hoffmann and published in 1814, on which Tchaikovsky’s ballet is based, Christmas provides the realistic setting for a fantastic plot. Fiction and reality are woven together by means of strange and wondrous occurrences to produce a fascinating and unfathomable labyrinth. Both Hoffmann and Tchaikovsky, who began to compose the ballet in his fiftieth year, could identify with the literary figure of the watchmaker Drosselmeier, who gives order to his life through his work. In 1999, exactly 107 years – to the day – after the first performance in St. Petersburg, Patrice Bart’s choreography of Tchaikovsky’s worldwide success The Nutcracker was premiered at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden in Berlin. Bart placed a prologue before the ballet in which Marie is abducted as a child and in which everything is placed in a modern context.
Filmed at The Mariinsky Theatre St.Petersburg, where it was first performed in 1892, comes this adult version of the Nutcracker. Worlds away from the traditional and warm versions popular at Christmas, this unconventional production, reinterpreted by Russian emigre and world-renowned avant-garde artist Mikhail Shemiakin, is a surreal, and at times disturbing, piece. Two of the Mariinsky's young stars, Leonid Sarafanov and Irina Golub, dance the main roles, and Valery Gergiev conducts.
Mariinsky Theatre Musical Director, Valery Gergiev, conducts Tchaikovsky’s glorious score in this enchanting, traditional, Russian production of The Nutcracker. Vainonen’s stunning choreography is complemented by Simon Virsaladze’s wonderfully colourful designs, and the roles of Masha and her Nutcracker Prince are danced by two of the Mariinsky’s award-winning, international soloists, all of which make this as magical and memorable a Christmas treat as ever.
Tchaikovsky’s most famous work, The Nutcracker, is presented in this stunning new recording by the world’s greatest orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, under the baton of their celebrated conductor Sir Simon Rattle. This musical fairytale follows Clara and her unusual prince and protector, The Nutcracker, through adventures and exotic delights in the magical Kingdom of Sweets.
This is no ordinary Nutcracker; it is a quintessentially Australian reinterpretation created by the incomparable Graeme Murphy, who was for many years the driving spirit of the Sydney Dance Company. It is a reinterpretation that celebrates the history of ballet in Australia, and of the Australian Ballet itself with its links to the great Russian ballet tradition.