The Nutcracker – A Review

When I was a little girl I was ballet mad. What started as a little hobby on a Saturday morning at 5 years old, ended up taking me all the way to stage school and allowed me to perform on stage many times over. Unfortunately though, I didn’t take it any further than my late teens and life finally gave way to other interests.

But I have always had a soft spot for dance. I love it. And although not one of my favourites to perform myself (I was always crazy for the more fun and energetic tap dancing!!) I absolutely love to watch ballet.

I have such an appreciation for it.

After training in ballet throughout my childhood,  up until the age of around 18 and reaching quite a high standard, I know how tough it is…. it’s incredibly, ridiculously tough, one of hardest disciplines to master and professional ballerinas make it look so easy and graceful… that’s the absolute wonder of ballet.

So as you can imagine, when I was given the opportunity of going to see the English National Ballet perform The Nutcracker at the London Coliseum, I was beyond ecstatic! I have wanted to take my little girl to see a ballet for a while now, so was overjoyed at the prospect of taking her for the first time.

London ColiseumThe Coliseum

It was the last day of term at school and I picked up my little girl at midday, organised childcare for my twins and hopped on the train into Central London! It felt such a treat to be going the theatre with just my girl, we had been looking forward to it for ages!

The Nutcracker at the ColiseumMy little girl was in awe

The Coliseum is breathtakingly beautiful. It’s everything you want it to be and more. And for a special production of this ballet it was the perfect venue. I know the Nutcracker story well, as does my little girl…. she was going to love it being performed on this stage.

When the lights went down and the orchestra began to play the famous music of Tchaikovsky…. we were so excited! Tamara Rojo, Artistic Director of the English National Ballet has this to say about their traditional Christmas production of Nutcracker….

‘This is one of the pillars of the classical ballet repertoire. It tells the story of Clara enjoying her parents’ Christmas party with family and friends when the arrival of Dr Drosselmeyer and his gift of the Nutcracker Doll changes everything. Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score, Wayne Eagling’s exuberant choreography and Peter Farmer’s beautiful designs deliver a Christmas story full of magic and wonder which continues to thrill audiences of all ages.’ – I couldn’t agree more.

My little girl was mesmerised. She recognised many of the Tchaikovsky melody’s, which she liked. It felt familiar. The magical storyline kept her interested throughout, of the little girl Clara and her new toy The Nutcracker with whom she creates an imaginary fantasy journey, as she transforms into her almost grown up self! She enjoyed the many children in the cast who were brilliant, the menacing Mouse King who was trying to stop the beautiful dream and the fantastic world dances, her favourite being the Spanish. The storyline of The Nutcracker has been interpreted in different ways over the years by different choreographer’s and of course the story itself is slightly confusing if you don’t know it well, but I felt this particular production was spectacular.

I was blown away by the ballet itself… Oh the ballet…. so utterly beautiful and elegant. My personal favourite scenes being the snowflake ballet with dancers in traditional tutu’s, the Sugar Plum Fairy solo and the amazing pas de deux – it was here that I could truly see the magnificence of ballet. Such perfection. The dancers, so graceful and yet so strong and skillful.

The Nutcracker Ballet - ColiseumImages taken from the programme

I was mesmerised too, there are no other words. An amazing performance, I didn’t want it to end. If you have the opportunity to see the Nutcracker, then do it. It’s a wonderful first time ballet for anyone that hasn’t been before, perfect for children. But wonderful too for seasoned ballet fanatics. I felt nothing but joy the whole way through.

The Nutcracker is only running until the 4th January 2015, so if you want to catch it, be sure to hurry and book your tickets. If you can’t make it this year, look out for it’s return next Christmas.

If you don’t want to wait till then though, if you have a young ballerina or a little ballet fan at home, why not take them to a special performance of Swan Lake in April, which is taking place at the Peacock Theatre in London. It will be performed by children from aged 9 upwards who attend the English National Ballet School. It’s aimed at young audiences and is sure to be a real treat.

 Disclaimer: I was offered two complimentary tickets in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions my own. 
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Comments

  1. Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

    In your opinion, how old would kids need to be to appreciate it? I know my mum used to take my sister and I but we were quite old I think, certainly much bigger than Daphne. I’d love to take her but I think she’s probably too young right now.

  2. The Nutcracker is the only ballet I’ve ever seen, it was with school about 11 years ago at the Wolverhampton Grand! I can’t say it thrilled me, but I definitely left with an appreciation of how beautiful and talented the dancers were!

    Sara | This Girl Loves

    • Mummy Endeavours says:

      I think it all depends on the choreographer as they interpret the piece differently. You should definitely try again :)

  3. I am so glad you had a fabulous time, sounds great x

  4. Oh you have made me want to go and see it again now, it has been many years since ive been and it sounds as though you had an amazing time x

  5. Just watching a video of it is breath taking so it must have been such an amazing experience to see it at The Coliseum.

  6. It’S been a while since I saw a production of the nutcracker, bet it was spectacular!

  7. I took my husband (a ballet hater) to see the Nutcracker a few years ago, I love it so much. Haven’t taken my children yet. Not sure my son would enjoy it but my daughter certainly would.

  8. StephsTwoGirls says:

    We saw that locally this year, and it was wonderful. Amazing to see it in such a wonderful setting though I’m sure!

  9. What a wonderful treat. Sounds like she loved it, as would my daughter im sure

  10. Oh it sounds amazing. I would love to go to the Ballet. I am hoping that the boys develop more of an interest in it

  11. I’ve taken our girls to see this show too as a special treat and it was spectacular. Really worth the trip.

  12. I’d love to take my daughter to see this when she is older. We both love dancing. What a very special treat, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  13. I love ballet but wasn’t able to do it as there were no classes anywhere near us :)

    • Mummy Endeavours says:

      Oh what shame! I used to love it… my daughter has been a few times but doesn’t share my love for it!

  14. How wonderful. I would love to take my girls to see this

  15. Oh this looks amazing, I would love to go and see the Nutcracker! What a brilliant trip out.

  16. Looks like a fantastic experience. I would love to attend a ballet show, as never been to one before.

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