English National Ballet has been performing productions of The Nutcracker at the Coliseum for 20 years; but London's move into Tier 4 of Covid-restrictions has forced a rethink: ENB will now bring highlights of their latest Nutcracker, in a production by its former artistic director Wayne Eagling, to your screens, for free, following the cancellation of its run at the Coliseum. Take it as a Christmas present from the company in this, its 70th anniversary year.
The performance has been changed to accommodate social distancing requirements; hence the title Nutcracker Delights. It's fair to assume that all or most of Act I, the Christmas Eve party in the home of a prosperous Edwardian family, with much larking around by the children, and greeting and dancing together by the adults, will be scrapped, or at the very least strictly reduced in size.
With a bit of luck, we may be spared Eagling's rather tiresome giant rats, who keep butting into the action even when the narrative no longer requires them.
However, the true magic of Nutcracker happens in Act II, with a huge variety of divertissements in the Kingdom of the Sweets, put on for young Clara and her dashing Nutcracker. We guess the Dance of the Snowflakes for the female ensemble can, and will be performed.
Also practicable are the majority of the divertissements, with minor or no modifications. The apogee of the ballet is, of course, the Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux; and, again, we're guessing that will go ahead, performed either by one of the off-stage couples in the company, or by a partnership bubble created for the purpose.
Here's a taster of a true Nutcracker Delight, danced by Rina Kanehara and Jeffrey Cirio.
In total, over 50 dancers and musicians will take you on a whirlwind tour of the classic ballet’s most popular moments, with Tchaikovsky’s much-loved score played live by the English National Ballet Philharmonic.
|What||English National Ballet, Nutcracker Delights ONLINE|
|Where||London Coliseum, St Martin's Lane, , London , WC2N 4ES | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Charing Cross (underground)|
24 Dec 20 – 24 Jan 21, Available on demand from 1400 on Christmas Eve. Dur.: 85 mins