BC presents Alberta
Reviewer Ed Farolan
Tchaikovsky's The Nutcracker was not a success when it had its debut at the Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg 121 years ago, but it became a challenge in the years that followed by choreographers who created their own versions, using adults, for example, instead of children, for Klara and Karl/Nutcracker. Eventually, it became what it is now--a traditional holiday classic.
Choreographed by Edmund Stripe, with spectacular sets and costumes by Emmy Award-winning designer Zack Brown, The Nutcracker takes place in the opulent grandeur of 19th century Imperial Russia. Danced to the glorious Tchaikovsky score, played live by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Alberta Ballet's talented dancers, especially Jaciel Gomez and Mariko Kondo, wowed the opening night audience, composed of grandparents who took took their grandchildren along, as well as adults and ballet aficionados. They welcomed these excellent dancers with warm applauses all through the 2.5 hour show.
In his programme comments, Alberta Ballet's artistic director Jean Grand-Maitre says:"In a world filled with so much negative news, it is even more important to remind our children of the beauty humanity can create and that truth and heroes still exist." Indeed, we need works of art like this one to show that humans can still dream and be positive about the world we live in.
Kudos to the dancers and the production staff for a wonderful show. There are four more shows, and this ballet will make a beautiful holiday gift to children, adults and seniors alike. .
.© 2013 Ed Farolan