Goh Ballet
The Nutcracker

Dates and Venue 15 - 18 December @ 7.30 pm| Centre for the Performing Arts, Vancouver

Choreographer Anna-Marie Holmes Executive Producer Chan Hon Goh Performers Principal Dancers from the American Ballet Theatre, Vancouver Opera Orchestra - Conductor Leslie Dala

Reviewer Karen Fitzgibbon

The Nutcracker was pure magic! The opening evening of this fairytale Nutcracker Ballet was beautiful to hear and beautiful to behold. Clara (Samara Rittinger) is a little girl who has fallen asleep beside a big Christmas tree after guests have just left after her father’s Christmas party. She starts to dream about her toy soldier a gift that the magician had given her. Rittinger does a great performance to win the hearts of the audience. Suddenly all the toys beneath the tree come to life and start to dance. The stage design was of wondrous colors and romantic scenes of freshly fallen snow, a distant mountain castle, a magnificent Christmas tree all decorated in red ribbon that grew bigger and bigger during Clara’s dream. The elaborate stage design, lighting and special effects were breathtaking and a true gift to children who will remember this their whole lifetime as their first Nutcracker Ballet. They will remember ballerinas in white emerging from the snow and mist seemingly out of nowhere.

The costumes throughout were fantastic and tastefully designed in multicolour’s with whimsical flowing gowns, top hats, cavalry, a sugar plum fairy, Chinese tea, angels, Arabian coffee dancers, marzipan, mice, bears, reindeer, a snow queen, a prince, sugar plums, lambs, toy soldiers, Russian dancers and an enormous skirt that hid many children and so much more. There was even a real life illusionist. It was just over the top with fun creativity. The Arabian coffee dancers’ performance especially impressed me as well as the littlest performers.

The dancers were amazing and the choreography by Anna-Marie Holmes was exquisite. As stated in the centre`s write up "Featured this year are Principal Dancers who are current and former Principal Dancers of New York`s prestigious American Ballet."

I have to say the Russian dancers (Dustin Carnie, Stanislav Galimkhanov, and Yuta Kawakami) definitely wowed the crowd. Their wonderful dance performance, agility, facial expressions and red costumes rocked the audience.

The Goh Nutcracker Ballet was a hugely entertaining, fast flowing, elaborate and a remarkable voyage into Fantasyland. Tchaikovsky would have been proud to hear his music so beautifully performed. If you haven`t seen it yet, what are you waiting for? Take in this beautiful ballet for a true Christmas tradition that will create visions of sugar plums dancing in your head.

© 2011 Karen Fitzgibbon