Dance Preview: The Nutcracker hits the ice–ballet stylee

By Paul Jarvey

Easily one of the most publicly acclaimed ballets of all time, The Nutcracker is arriving with some of the world’s most talented dancers as the St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice graces Calgary’s Saddledome. For over 40 years, the nutcracker prince has charmed audiences across the world with this classic tale of adventure and magic.

Enchanted with imagery of Christmas dreams and the opulence of Russia’s Winter Palace, lavish sets and costumes are set to combine ice with a cast of medal winning skaters performing for all ages. “It’s a family experience,” says the show’s producer, Jeffrey Moss. Who doesn’t remember seeing The Nutcracker as a child, whether as a cartoon on Christmas daytime television or as a dazzling to-scale performance on ice?

Lauded the world over, the St. Petersburg ballet has performed to thousands of audiences, its company of over 100 achieved skaters once again charm audiences with this perennial holiday favorite. This production boasts choreography by Konstantin Rassadin of the famed Kirov Ballet, a celebrated alumni of the globally renowned Maryinsky Theatre of Opera and Ballet of St. Petersburg. Playing central roles as the star of the Maryinski Ballet and dancing with dozens of highly acclaimed ballerinas and danseurs, Rassadin joined the St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice in 1980 and has since choreographed dozens of performances.

Tchaikovsky’s impressive depth, extensive range of emotion and unearthly skill accompany this classic ballet in enduring beauty. Originally introduced in 1967, The Nutcracker was the first ballet on ice both to St. Petersburg and the rest of the world. Established by Constantine Boyarski as the Crystal Palace, this rich performance has won the hearts and imaginations of its audiences from the very start.

In a rare translation of ballet onto ice, The Nutcracker dances with mystery, creativity and an ability to enchant audiences so few other productions posses. The Nutcracker is sure to warm hearts and minds of both children and adults once more with another exceptional performance. This ballet will undoubtedly dust Calgary with sugar and maybe a little magic too.

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