Christmas has come early at the Leeds Grand Theatre with the remarkable return of Northern Ballet and their enchanting production of The Nutcracker. David Nixon OBE creates a magical masterpiece with incredible movement encapsulating the original music, showcasing Tchaikovsky’s use of his symphonic skills in the unfolding of the drama. This then providing great inspiration for generations of choreographers and musical directors alike including John Pryce-Jones who holds this piece together beautifully.
It’s the night before Christmas and Clara (Rachel Gillespie) is presented with the Nutcracker doll from her Uncle Drosselmeyer (Mlindi Kulashe) who then becomes the architect of her magical adventure. As the Edwards family and friends celebrate the arrival of Christmas with a lavish party, the children enjoy playing games and watching in amazement the life size dancing dolls brought for the entertainment. As the Nutcracker doll is accidentally broken Uncle Drosselmeyer puts it back together and the upset Clara places the doll underneath the Christmas tree before bed.
And so, the battle commences as the Nutcracker comes to life bringing his trusted army to face the Mouse King (Joseph Taylor) and show Clara the magical kingdom within. The Nutcracker Prince (Ashley Dixon) leads the journey with a showcase of friends including the iconic Sugar Plum Fairy (Minju Kang), all giving fantastically flawless performances you can’t take your eyes off!
This truly is a beautiful piece of ballet and mystical production for all ages bursting with the undeniable essence of Christmas. I always love the idea of being lost in the music and mesmerised by what I see in front of me and this definitely delivers on both counts. If ballet isn’t your thing and you’d like to delve into the world of dance for one night, then this is for you. Who can’t give in to a festive children’s tale with classic music you will have heard in many other places, the Christmas film Home Alone for one. Unleash your inner child and be amazed with this perfect Christmas treat!