A holiday tradition: ‘The Nutcracker’

What is Christmas without the beloved tale of ‘The Nutcracker’, as performed by the legendary Bolshoi Ballet Company?

Every year, Camana Bay Cinema brings this magical production to life on the big screen and this year is no exception. This time, there will be two screenings open to the public. The first showing is on 21 Dec. and is for 18-years-and-older only, while the showing on 22 Dec. is for all ages.

The Nutcracker Ballet is based on the story ‘The Nutcracker and the King of Mice’ written by E.T.A. Hoffman. Although what is seen on the stage today is different in detail from the original story, the basic plot remains the same: the story of a young German girl who dreams of a Nutcracker Prince and a fierce battle against a Mouse King with seven heads.

There are many colourful scenes in the ballet, beginning with the Party Scene, where Marie – the female lead – is given the Nutcracker for Christmas. What follows is the Fight Scene as Marie begins to dream: when the clock strikes midnight, strange things begin to happen.

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Marie begins shrinking as her beautiful Christmas tree grows high above her. The toys around the tree come to life while the room fills with an army of mice, led by the fierce Mouse King. As the Nutcracker awakens, he leads his army of toy soldiers into battle with the mice.

In the Land of Snow, the Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Marie on a journey to an enchanted forest wonderland where they are welcomed by dancing snowflakes.

Many children will no doubt be delighted by the Land of Sweets, where the Prince and Marie are greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. The Prince tells her about their daring battle with the army of mice and she rewards them with a celebration of dances.

As a finale, the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Cavalier dance a beautiful Pas De Deux.

At the end of the story, Marie awakens from her dream and finds herself by her Christmas tree with her beloved Nutcracker.

The Bolshoi’s version of ‘The Nutcracker’ has a unique and beautiful sense of romance and philosophy, danced by the heroic Denis Rodkin as the courageous Prince and the magical Anna Nikulina as Marie. ‘The Nutcracker’ was recorded live on 21 Dec., 2014.

• Music: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
• Choreography: Yuri Grigorovich
• Libretto: Yuri Grigorovich (after E.T.A. Hoffmann and Marius Petipa)
• Cast: Denis Rodkin (the Nutcracker Prince), Anna Nikulina (Marie), Andrei Merkuriev (Drosselmeyer), Vitaly Biktimirov (the Mouse King), and the Bolshoi Corps de Ballet.

The showing on 21 Dec. is at 8pm with doors opening at 7pm. This is an adults-only screening. The showing on 22 Dec. is at 3pm with doors opening at 2pm and is open to all. Tickets are available at the box office. Buy early as these screenings usually sell out.

For more information about Culture at the Cinema, visit www.bigscreen.ky.

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