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 7,000 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?
Olivier Award-winning genius with light and dance explains his art
Dance theatre at full throttle in two contemporary takes on Ballets Russes classics
A brand-new, beautiful Shakespeare ballet to open the spring season
Belgian dancemaker presents a rich but overlong meditation on illness and difference
Strongly styled pieces inspired by World War One show Tamara Rojo's company on fine form
For all its lush design, this valiant effort is still not the definitive Britten ballet
Brighton Festival's guest curator on new challenges and politics in art
The talent of the performers lifts cultural commentary above the level of sixth-form drama class
Two rich offerings in the ongoing Flamenco Festival
A feast of archive footage is some compensation for this season's narrow scope
Flamenco festival's opening number is no history lesson, but the dancing's all right
Archive footage of Margot Fonteyn among the highlights of a week of ballet programmes