Nutcracker News
Royal Ballet and ABT

Royal Ballet Rehearsal

Check out this Nutcracker rehearsal from The Royal Ballet. The first segment features Principal Dancers Lauren Cuthbertson and Matthew Golding with Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare reversing the Grand Pas de Deux. The second segment features First Soloist James Hay and Soloist Fumi Kaneko with Guest Principal Ballet Master Christopher Carr in the Doll dances from Act I. The Doll dances, starting at 42:45 are athletic and exciting. They also show how the dolls magically appear from boxes rolled out by Drosselmeyer.

ABT Nutcracker in Orange County

ABT is performing The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County until December 20. Here are several reviews:

Laura Bleiberg of the LA Times

Gillian Murphy, stepping into the lead on short notice, showed off her lofty balance and generous elan as the Princess. Marcelo Gomes made a valiant, sensitive Prince, a dream partner in every way.

Paul Hodgins of the Orange County Register

In many ways, Ratmansky’s version of the famous tale seems well suited to Southern California. It’s a cinematic creation: colorful, gaudy, full of surprisingly nuanced acting, and crammed with precision-executed crowd scenes that would have made Busby Berkeley jealous.

Ratmansky is more interested than Balanchine, Baryshnikov and other “Nutcracker” choreographers in the psychological underpinnings of Clara’s experience. In his story, it’s clear that she’s a girl who is alternately excited and apprehensive that the world of adulthood is fast approaching.

Jean Lenihan of The Orange County Register has an interesting background article on how ABT found a second home at Segerstrom Center.

Ballet enthusiasts practically had to rub their eyes over the news this past year that ABT was permanently moving its annual Ratmansky “Nutcracker” from the Brooklyn Academy of Music to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, and concurrently starting a West Coast branch of its education division, also to be housed at the Costa Mesa arts center. Students at the new American Ballet Theatre William J. Gillespie School, headed by Haubert, would come to fuel all manner of professional performances at the center, by ABT and other touring troupes.

Stella Abrera Interview

KPCC Radio has a nice interview with ABT’s Stella Abrera about life as a Principal Dancer.