The Nutcracker at the Coliseum
At the magnificent Coliseum from the English National Ballet, The Nutcracker is a good Christmas favourite, worth the price of admission if only for the wonderful dancing (during this performance a young girl was observed twirling in her box).
It has however always been weak on story, particularly in the second act, and the slightly repetitive choreography might bore though Tchaikovsky will always seduce. Every so often one is distracted by some minor detail of action at the edge of the stage, but for younger viewers this will provide a feast for wandering eyes. One would certainly not want a production heavy on allegory or metaphor – the caprice of the story is compelling enough.
The dancers are all excellent – one almost misses the quick metamorphoses from child to adult – which are among the choreography’s masterful touches. It is perhaps a little gentle, particularly as the story is not made much of, though wild oriental caprices are enjoyable. One never senses the danger of nightmare, much as one is seduced by the fantasy of dreams.
It is beautiful, and this will more than suffice, not perhaps as art – but that is pompous. It will produce wonder, which, like dream, and perhaps nightmare, is always the beginning of art.
The Nutcracker is at the Coliseum until 5th January 2014. For further information visit the show’s website here.