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Alberta Ballet

December 2, 2014
Photograph by Paul McGrath

Photograph by Paul McGrath

The Nutcracker

NAC Southam Hall, Ottawa

(Performances December 3 through 6, 7 p.m., plus Saturday and Sunday matinees)

Nothing brings the Christmas holiday alive quite as magically as The Nutcracker ballet. A fanciful dream world of battling larger-than-life mice and pretty ballerinas in sparkling tutus, this 120-year-old Tchaikovsky ballet bursts with energy, whimsy and extravagance, a feast for the senses and the imagination of young and old alike.

The Alberta Ballet Company’s version, created in 2008 by award-winning choreographer Edmund Stripe, is set in turn-of-the-19th-centruy Imperial Russia. The $1.5-million production highlights opulent Fabergé egg-like sets and costumes by American designer Zack Brown, casting a faraway Russian essence over the stage.

The National Arts Centre Orchestra will accompany all performances.

Local dance schools are providing dozens of tiny performers for the children’s parts as adorable mice, pretty-frocked party guests, slimy rats and toy soldiers.

The costumes in this production are delightful — the Flower dancers wear Russian tutus and the Snowflakes are dressed like little czarinas. Wily white Arctic wolves pull the Snow Queen’s sleigh through a wondrous, wintry, sparkling world.

Whether or not it snows this week, there will plenty of silvery snow shimmering over the ballet performances, providing that magical touch to a Christmas favourite.

An hour before curtain, the NAC will present crafts, dress-up and other activities for children attending the show.

See the NAC website for information on tickets.

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From → Ballet

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