The winter season is in full flow and as illuminations decorate the avenues and stores showcase their extravagant Christmas pieces, it’s the perfect time to indulge in some classical festive entertainment. When it comes to ballet, there is no story more classic, beloved and appropriate than The Nutcracker. With Tchaikovsky’s iconic score and set during a sparkling, Edwardian Christmas Eve, it’s the only ballet to see during the December months. So allow yourself to be enchanted by the Nutcracker, the Sugar Plum Fairy, the Snow Queen and the Mouse King and lose yourself in a performance from one of Europe’s most illustrious ballet companies this year.
London – The English National Ballet (The London Coliseum)
11 Dec 2014 – 4 Jan 2015
Prestigious choreographer, and former principal dancer, Wayne Eagling, brings the Nutcracker to new levels in London this year. Design is by Peter Farmer, a leading figure in British theatre design, who has created a plethora of fantastic designs for The Royal Ballet, including Winter Dreams (1991) and Sleeping Beauty (2006).
Taking on the principal role of Clara are some of the very best ballet dancers in Europe. Alina
Cojacaru is Clara for opening night on 11th November, with other Clara’s including the beautiful dancers, Tamara Rojo, Begoña Cao, Erina Takahashi and Fernanda Oliveira. Principal males include Alajandro Virelles and Arionel Vargas.
Milan – The Teatro alla Scala Ballet Company (Teatro alla Scala)
18 Dec 2014 – 18 Jan 2015
With choreography revised by Nacho Duato, the Teatro alla Scala ballet is sure to be one of the most beautiful ballets in Europe to see this year. Nacho had an intensive few years at the
Mikhailovsky Theatre, so you can be confident in his ability in choreographing the classics.
The Nutcracker is the premiere performance for the new ballet season at Teatro alla Scala.
Esteemed ballet fans will know that the theatre itself is one of the most stunning in Europe and a true cultural heritage spot.
Traditionalist will be pleased to hear that costume designer, Jerome Kaplan’s designs are in-keeping with classical tradition, but have some trademark humorous touches. We highly recommend heading to Milan on the 18th or 19th December to see guest artist Maria Eichwald and etoile, Roberto Bolle, take the stage.
Paris – The Paris Ballet Company & School (Opera Bastille)
26 Nov 2014 – 29 Dec 2014
With choreography and staging from Rudolf Nureyev and costumes from Nicholas Georgiadis, the Paris production, Casse-Noisette, is sure to be a festive highlight this year. The production is bursting with a stellar cast of the stars, principal dancers and corps de ballet of the Paris National Opera.
The Opera Bastille is a simply stunning building, with the exterior and interior using the same
materials and a transparent façade. A great place to visit if you want to explore a more contemporary theatre.