The Nutcracker 3D, Mariinsky Ballet/ The Nutcracker, English National Ballet, London Coliseum | Dance reviews, news & interviews
The Nutcracker 3D, Mariinsky Ballet/ The Nutcracker, English National Ballet, London Coliseum
Here we go gathering Nuts in December - in cinema, on DVD and live on stage
The seasonal Nuts-fest continues (and culminates) with another two to add to the roast – live: English National Ballet’s recent production, and digital: the Mariinsky Theatre’s 3D film version. To the cinema we go. This is the first 3D Nutcracker ever, following the Mariinsky’s 3D Giselle last year – and the screening of dance is a good thing, as few can afford to fly the world over to see a number of Nutcracker productions.
The 3D aspect makes the experience more tangible. The best moments are the aerial shots when you feel most interspersed, but as the 1934 Vassily Vainonen version was choreographed with the proscenium in mind, one loses out on the bigger picture when plonked in the middle of a snowflake circle. The production is also newly released as a DVD where the insipid use of pastels after a while makes all the differing characters meld into one.
The real draw is the principal casting with the Mariinsky’s bright young things featuring Alina Somova as Clara and Vladimir Shklyarov as the Nutcracker (pictured right). Somova is an incredibly able dancer, but seems lost when not executing an extraordinarily high leg-line, or an over-180degree split leap. The in-between moments that make a true ballerina, say an imperial promenade or a majestic arm movement, are still to be understood value-wise. Shklyarov is less obvious, but not in a feeble way. He still shows the audience what he’s capable of technically but does so with a beautifully expressive upper body throughout.
Valery Gergiev directs the orchestra, and if you have a passion for Russian ballet, or Nutcracker in general, this venture should be seen, though the Mariinsky dancers' flat facial expressions translate as if they've been doing the same gig for years. For me the 3D aspect was beneficial at times, but highlighted the production’s dated feel both choreographically and design-wise more than anything. (Official trailer below)
Subscribe to theartsdesk.com
Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 10,000 pieces, we're asking for £2.95 per month or £25 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.
To take an annual subscription now simply click here.
And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?
Top-quality showcase from some of the best in the business
New work outshines old in company showcase
Company strong, principals less so in tame season finale
Ballerina says goodbye with new works from Khan, Maliphant
Brass band the highlight of new triple bill
Leaden score and ponderous choreography do an injustice to Bloomsbury author's name
Rambert Dance Company's inaugural Music Fellow discusses his new ballet score
The Bolshoi's deathless über-ballerina is no more
Family lore and deep-seated fears explored with surprising humour, and a technical glitch
Impressive talents in remarkably gimmick-free Beeb competition
Ashton's pastoral comedy of love among the haystacks continues to thrill and delight
1984 work by German choreographic genius Pina Bausch receives UK première