Professional Russian dancers leap and pirouette against stunning backdrops in a holiday ballet set to Tchaikovsky’s beloved score
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Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker
The spirit of Tchaikovsky guides Moscow Ballet’s professional ballerinas as they leap and pirouette against hand-painted backgrounds that invigorate his spirited score in time for the holiday season. Great Russian Nutcracker reintroduces audiences of all ages to young Masha, whose taste for adventure rivals her magical wooden doll’s legendary aversion to chestnuts. Dancers fling themselves across the stage in grand jetés as the curtain opens on Moscow’s iconic skyline, which gives way to a spooky dreamland as the Mouse King rears his fuzzy head to stir up mischief. Audiences gasp as legions of mice capture Masha’s strong-jawed companion and carry him away, past a lavishly decorated Christmas tree that soars toward the ceiling, and through their fellow dancers, who do not grow taller in the same way. Live orchestral accompaniment blares during the ensuing battle and ushers the action into the enchanted Land of Peace and Harmony in the ballet’s second act.
Russian designer Valentin Fedorov’s 3-D backdrops pay homage to the snowy forests of his homeland, and the puppets that dance alongside the ballerinas nod to the mysterious felt creatures that roam the foothills of Siberia. Moscow Ballet selects its soloists from Moscow’s finest crop of dancers, and local children can audition to join the corps for one city, earning the chance to twirl their little feet with the company in walk-on roles.