Shown on U.S. TV in 2010 as part of Ovation TV's annual "Battle of the Nutcrackers", in which different productions of "The Nutcracker" are screened and the viewer is asked to vote on their favorite of all the candidates. See more »
I am not a real ballet fan and find classical ballets rather risible in general. But I do like the music of this one which I thought was not well served in this and many other cases. Dancers are notorious for complaining about the music being too fast with the result that it all moves along at a pedestrian pace. (It's even slower in some Russian versions I've seen and I think this was partly what Balanchine was fighting against in all his work.)
Anthony Dowell, the then-director of the Royal Ballet, really hams it up in his largely mime part of Drosselmeier and I thought the homo-erotic relationship (?) of Drosselmeier and his nephew Hans-Peter served no particular purpose aside from reflecting Tchaikovsky's with his nephew "Bob" (Vladimir Davydov.).
I think the Pacific Ballet's version is more interesting as is the Paris Opera Ballet's (Nureyev.). (I never particularly liked the Baryshnikov one.)
I found the dancing serviceable if uninspired, but way too slow!!!
Perhaps the dancers would have rather done another ballet as this one has perhaps been done too often.
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