Though I’ve seen The Nutcracker every year for quite a few years now (and twice this month) it was only after watching Alberta Ballet’s rendition on Tuesday night (presented by BC Ballet), that I think I fully understood the ballet. There was a clarity and crispness to the dancers’ moves in how they communicated the surreal story of a young girl named Klara who gets a doll and watches as the world changes around her.
Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, Presented by Ballet BC
There wasn’t a superfluous moment in Edmund Stripe’s choreography which helped keep the this ballet, which has a tendency to be made overly complicated, lucid. However, having said that, Stripe was able maintain the dreamlike and magical nature of the ballet. From the way the Snow Queen fluttered across stage en pointe to the gorgeously angular movements of the wolf dancer, to the crawling of the mice across the floor, there was an elegance, magic, and cohesion that I’ve never witnessed before in another version of the The Nutcracker.
When watching past performances, my attention usually wanes by the time The Sugar Plum Fairy and Her Cavalier arrive. But Luna Sasaki and Garrett Groat totally blew me away and kept me memorized every moment they were on stage. As did The Nutcracker/Karl, played by Nicolas Pelletier who, for me, embodied (and looked like) what The Nutcracker ought to–athletic, elegant, and very handsome (when his mask came out, there were a couple gasps of delight in the audience).
The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s enhanced the ballet, and this particular aspect of the performance was such a treat for me (because I’m a huge fan) and really added to the spirit and collaboration and coming together of the season by being part of Alberta Ballet’s The Nutcracker, presented by BC Ballet.
The last performance of The Nutcracker is today at 2:00pm and a few tickets are still available.