Review: Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet at Cambridge Corn Exchange

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker - Credit: Archant

Tchaikovsky’s beautiful, glittering, Christmas gift of a ballet, The Nutcracker, was danced exquisitely at Cambridge Corn Exchange by Saint Petersburg Classic Ballet. The score played by the Hungarian Sinfonietta Orchestra conducted by Igor Shavruk was entrancing.

Natalya Romanova, as Clara, the little girl presented with the nutcracker doll at Christmas, not only dances with a divine grace, her expressions and her acting the different emotions of the character she portrays, happiness, delight, fear, tears and serenity are subtle but unmistakable and moving.

The corps de ballet when they become snowflakes in the second scene are ethereal. They did everything but actually melt.

This is a show that satisfies the senses. Throughout, the costumes, as ever with Russian ballet companies, are a work of art in themselves. The snowflakes’ white net skirts look like snow on frost. The nursery shades of blue and pink in the Kingdom of Sweets are magical and every gown in the ballroom scenes is absolutely beautiful.

This production is close enough to absolute perfection. Dmitriy Popov as Drosselmeir the mysterious doctor who gives Clara the nutcracker doll, the mouse king and the Spanish dancer is a joy to see as is Yuliya Yashina his partner for the Spanish dance. Dionis Barcari and Alina Volobueva as the Chinese dancers and Kana Fujise who performs the eastern dance and all the dancers, named or unnamed, gladden your heart with every step and every breathtaking lift.

The entire production is a privilege to see. There are few things so uplifting to the human spirit as to see something so difficult done so effortlessly and so miraculously well.

The company will present The Nutcracker again on Saturday, December 31 at 2.30pm and Swan Lake on Sunday, January 1 at 2.30pm and 7.30pm.