Saturday, 19 June 2021

Ballet full of festive appeal is a perfect pre-Christmas treat

Ballet full of festive appeal is a perfect pre-Christmas treat

Vienna Festival Ballet presents The Nutcracker | Theatre Royal, Windsor | Monday, November 6

IT felt like we were gearing up for the festive season as the Vienna Festival Ballet troupe presented us with a feast of Christmas fare in a riot of colour.

Packed with soldiers, mice, children and characters celebrating sweets from all around the world, this was a triumph of elegance, beautiful ballet and talent.

On Christmas Eve, Clara and her brother Fritz hold a party and Clara is given a Nutcracker doll. At midnight her doll is transformed into a handsome prince and together they find themselves falling into adventures with giant mice and kingdoms of snow and sweets.

Segueing successfully from enchanting and magical scenes to upbeat, exuberant and energetic moments, the ballet dancers soared through the air, while silently gliding and manoeuvring into place.

From enigmatic scenes with an Eastern flavour, with Russian dancing and tuneful waltzes, this was inspiring, mesmerising and lovely to see.

Jodie McKnight held court as Clara, with Ashley Selfe as the Nutcracker doll, and David Gutiérrez Robles and Casey Pereira among the many multitaskers — with Naomi Solomon as a wobbling grandmother who soon finds her feet.

While we anticipated the delightful Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and enjoyed the Waltz of the Flowers, the melodies were used to full effect alongside exquisite costumes in an array of stunning hues, with dark greens and pinks, pastels and golds, and beautiful blue and cream floaty dresses, all set off by the delicate movements of the dancers.

There was an infinite variety of characters, with all the costumes being just so, ideal for each one.

Once more the Vienna Festival Ballet excelled in its charming ensemble, bringing us a sublime performance of perfect poise, set in a world of marvel and wonder.

Until Saturday.

Natalie Aldred

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