This winter there have been reports that some households decided to keep their Christmas decorations up for much longer than usual to cheer themselves up amid the gloom of lockdown.
So, perhaps revisiting the Christmas ballet The Nutcracker in February is not such an outlandish idea – we can lose ourselves in a realm of fantasy and glorious dancing for a good 90 minutes, and emerge happier and re-energised.
Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) is offering its own Covid-safe The Nutcracker, produced in collaboration with the Birmingham Rep Theatre, where it was filmed in December. It's a downsized production, adapted to a smaller stage than BRB's home at the Birmingham Hippodrome, and it was created for the screen, where it's shown at its best.
Although it's the same glorious Peter Wright production that was shown over the festive period, and very favourably reviewed by Culture Whisper, this new offering has a different cast.
So, BRB's vastly experienced principals Samara Downs and Tyrone Singleton dance the lead roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Prince; the character role of the magician Herr Drosselmeyer is performed by Rory Mackay. The role of the young girl Clara, whose fantastic dream we follow through the Kingdom of Sweets, falls to the charming Laura Day.
Each Nutcracker season the Company is joined by graduate students from the Royal Ballet School and Birmingham–based Elmhurst Ballet School, offering them the opportunity to dance with a professional company. This time around, however, Covid-19 meant restrictions on the use of outsiders; but working within two Covid-safe dancer ‘bubbles’, BRB was able to use two students from The Royal Ballet School in the Arabian and Russian Dances, and students from Elmhurst Ballet School, who performed the Snowflake scene.
In short, if you didn't get the chance to see this beautiful production over the festive season (or even if you did) BRB's The Nutcracker is well worth revisiting.
|What||Birmingham Royal Ballet, The Nutcracker #2|
|Where||Online | MAP|
15 Feb 21 – 24 Feb 21, On Demand from 15 February. Dur.: 90 mins