Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
Scott and I had an opportunity to go see the Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker thanks to a promotion with the Moscow Ballet and USFamilyGuide.com. We attended a Saturday matinee, which, surprisingly, wasn’t that well attended. We sat in the center balcony at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida.
There were a lot of children attending the matinee, but they were all very well-behaved, so don’t let that be a hindrance. Matinees tend to be more casual, too. We wore jeans, but there were people dressed in all sorts of outfits.
Moscow Ballet has an East and a West tour, so we saw the East touring group. Along with the company of 40 dancers from the Moscow Ballet, 60 students, between 7 and 16 years old, were chosen locally to dance with them as part of the “Dance with Us” program. We attended with a large contingency of their parents.
The Moscow Ballet will be performing the Great Russian Nutcracker in 75 cities this year. In St. Petersburg, they performed 3 shows on the day we were there. They had the 12 PM matinee, a 4 PM show, and an 8 PM show.
While all of the dancers were very good, Elena Petrichenko and Sergey Chumakov stood out from the rest. They opened Act II dancing together for Dove of Peace and then again for the Arabian Variation. They moved with such fluidity. I was really touched each time they performed.
One noticeable element that was missing was the orchestra. The Great Russian Nutcracker was danced to a very well recorded version of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. Having a live orchestra just adds some extra energy to the whole performance.
After Act II was over, everyone, including the local children who performed, came on stage and took their bows. And the Great Russian Nutcracker was over for another year.
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