Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet is to be performed at the Skegness Embassy Theatre tonight (October 14th 2009) by The Perm Ballet Academy which hosts hundreds of Russian ballet dancers, many of whom have won awards in competition.

We are really looking forward to our first ballet and a review of the Nutcracker will follow shortly.

Nutcracker Ballet

Perm Ballet Academy Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet Review

We were pleasantly surprised to see so many people attended the Embassy Theatre to see Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, there was at least four hundred people in the audience from old ladies to burly tattooed biker types, (one bloke with tattoos anyway :)).

Ballet is far from an out of date form of entertainment as far as we could tell.

My hubby likes the music from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, he’s a big fan of classical music even though to look at him you’d never guess, (he looks more like the type who’d love football more than classical music) and wanted to see the Nutcracker, so I guess he got more out of the ballet than I did, men in tights didn’t settle too well with him at first though :-)

The performers costumes were stunning and it was nice to see the stage transformed by different scenery, I particularly liked the curtain back drop when Clara shrinks to the size of a mouse and the grand Christmas tree (with working Christmas lights) that was on stage for the party scene at the beginning, so the Nutcracker by The Perm Ballet Academy isn’t a cheap production.

Our favorite parts of the Nutcracker was the fight scene with the Nutcracker and toy soldiers against the Mouse King and his army of mice. We also enjoyed the young Chinese dancers, we weren’t the only people in the audience who liked the Chinese dance scene, the Embassy crowd gave the two young ballet dancers the biggest applause of the night, they wasn’t on long enough in my opinion.

We did enjoy the Nutcracker Ballet and is something we can say we’ve done in our life (try something once before you dismiss it). However, The Nutcracker performance by The Perm Ballet Academy seemed a little unpolished in it’s execution, it came across like they hadn’t practiced enough before hitting the road a week or so earlier, so was learning on the way with dancers almost bumping into each other and one of the main female ballet dancers almost being dropped on what didn’t appear to be a particularly difficult lift!

The ballet performance came across as a good quality amateur production with a relatively safe/easy set of routines, which was disappointing for our first real ballet, we hoped to see breath taking lifts and jumps.

The cast from The Perm Ballet Academy seemed quite young, so maybe it was a lack of experience?

We have seen three Ice Shows by the Wild Rose Russian Skaters at the Embassy Theatre and they executed far more complicated lifts and maneuvers around the stage with grace and power all on ice, so much harder than ballet with barely a tremble from the strain of lifting a woman in the air with one hand!

The performances at times wasn’t enough to stop my eyes from drooping, the Nutcracker seemed dull in that there wasn’t many difficult lifts and ballet routines that made you think WOW, it seemed not a challenging ballet sequence for what we believed was a world famous Russian ballet troupe. There was a man on the same row as us that slept most of the way through the ballet, he would wake every time the audience applauded only to drift back into what looked like a peaceful slumber :)

I wouldn’t have missed it though and ballet is something people should try at least once in their life. We will be looking out for more ballets to watch, but the Nutcracker will probably be our last Perm Ballet Academy production unfortunately. Next year the Perm Ballet Academy plan to perform Swan Lake at the Embassy Theatre.

The Nutcracker Ballet Story

Below is a quick rundown of the story behind the Nutcracker so you can have a better idea of the what’s going on since the ballet is all musically choreographed and at times it lost me a little, but not enough to loose the plot completely.

The Party Scene

Christmas Eve at the Stahlbaum house, with a beautiful Christmas tree and presents. The Stahlbaums are welcoming their family and friends to a Christmas party. Their children, Clara and Fritz, are dancing and playing.

Godfather Drosselmeyer arrives, Drosselmeyer is a skilled toy maker and brings two life-size dolls for the children: a clown and a ballerina both of which dance.

Drosselmeyer gives Clara a toy Nutcracker that everyone likes, her brother Fritz becomes jealous and breaks the Nutcracker. Clara is upset and Drosselmeyer magically repairs the toy.

The party ends and the guests leave and everyone but Clara goes to sleep. Clara sneaks back to the tree to check on the Nutcracker, falling asleep with him beside her.

The Fight Scene

As midnight strikes Clara begins shrinking, the room fills with an army of mice, lead by the Mouse King. The Nutcracker leads an army of toy soldiers against the mice. The Mouse King corners the Nutcracker and battles him one on one, (the Nutcracker is loosing the fight) with the help of Clara and her trusty slipper, (apparently kills the mouse king with her slipper :)) the Nutcracker wins the battle.

The Land of Snow

The Nutcracker turns into a Prince and takes Clara to the Land of Snow with dancing snowflakes.

The Land of Sweets

The Nutcracker Prince takes Clara to the Land of Sweets where they meet the Sugar Plum Fairy, there are various dances:

Spanish Dance
Arabian Dance
Russian Dance
Chinese Dance
Mirliton Dance
Waltz of Flowers

The Sugar Plum Fairy and a Cavalier dance the Pas De Deux.

The Dream Ends

Clara wakes from the dream and finds she is still with her Nutcracker toy back at home.

The end.

Probably not 100% accurate, but you get the idea.

Perm Ballet Academy Tchaikovsky Nutcracker Ballet Rating

Would We Go Again : No
Would We Recommend To Others: Yes, but with the warnings above.
Was It Value For Money: Yes, but with a hmmm, it should have been a more polished performance.
Recommended For: All Ages

Marie Law

Skegness Attractions Star Rating 6/10