Thursday, November 19, 2015

Enjoy a Christmas Classic: Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker {Review}

Written by, Bernadyn Nettles

I was beyond thrilled to be able to attend a complimentary showing recently of The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker in Daytona Beach, Florida.  The Nutcracker Ballet is a Christmas show that I have been a huge fan of since I was a little girl.  I took my husband with me to watch and we made a sweet date night out of it, starting with a long drive alone in the car that gave us the chance to catch up and talk without the kids, something we rarely get to do!  After arriving in Daytona Beach, we ate dinner and headed to the show.  The main attraction of the evening, of course, was the chance to  experience this ballet together.

Thank you to US Family Guide and Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker for sponsoring today's discussion.  All opinions are my own. 

Here we are below entering Daytona Beach.  It was a beautiful night out, perfect for watching a Christmas ballet!

Daytona Beach, FL

We had amazing seats in the orchestra section, close enough to see all the characters and the gorgeous costumes.  The only downside was that I didn't bring my good quality camera and I only had my cell phone camera on me.  I was afraid they were not going to let me bring in my higher end camera so I'm sorry about these lower quality photos.  They definitely don't do the show justice!

The whole show had me in awe from the start to finish.  How could it not?  There was talented dancing, detailed costumes, pretty props, beautifully designed scenery to draw you into the scenes and enticing music that makes the story flow smoothly.  It was a lovely package wrapped into one.  My husband even said that there were several parts that had him on the edge of his seat!

Act I A Christmas Party

If you're not familiar of the story of The Nutcracker Ballet, the story consists of two acts.  The first act opens with the Christmas party where Uncle Drosselmeyer presents Christmas gifts to his niece and nephew.  He presents his niece, Masha, a beautiful, toy nutcracker soldier (as the title of the ballet is known for).  She is overjoyed at receiving the gift from her godfather/uncle but her brother, Fritz becomes jealous and breaks the nutcracker soldier.

Once the family is asleep, Uncle Drosselymeyer fixes the nutcracker doll.  The ballet was able to nicely portray the clock striking midnight, dramatically signaling that Masha was swept into a dream where the mice become alive and life-size.  The Nutcracker doll also comes to life.   The Nutcracker doll defends her against the mice and the Mouse King in a battle scene.  After the battle ends, the Nutcracker doll transforms into a prince and they make their way into the Land of Peace and Harmony as you can see in the image below:

Christmas Ballet, Nutcracker, Live Show
Christmas, Holidays, ballet

Christmas, Holidays, Ballet

We had an intermission in between the acts so if you watch the show and need to stretch your legs, use the restroom or want to buy some souvenirs, you have time to do so.

About The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker

It's the ultimate holiday tradition and creates memories for a lifetime. The production includes over 200 romantic costumes and 10' tall playful animal puppets; shimmering colorful, backdrops splashed with 3-D effects; life-sized Matrushka (Nesting) Dolls and a puppet show for shadowing the Nutcracker Story at the opening Christmas Party. During the battle with Nutcracker Prince and the 3-headed Rat King, a golden cannon shoots roses! In the Magical Snow Forest an authentic Russian style Troika Sleigh, known as the fastest sleigh in the world, is escorted by Father Christmas (Ded Moroz) and Snow Maiden (Snegurochka) on their way to Act II. The Great Russian Nutcracker is known for its dedication to world peace with Act II named the "Land of Peace and Harmony." The first scene of Act II features a stunning "Dove of Peace" with a 20' wingspan and danced by 2 dancers each with one feathered wing. All ages feel the spirit of the season at Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker! Use the code JOY to get the biggest discount of the season for your family.

Act II "Land of Peace and Harmony"

Act II definitely started out beautifully with the "Dove of Peace" in which two dancers each had a snow white feathered wing.  In the original Nutcracker Ballet, they arrive in the "Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy" but in the Great Russian Nutcracker, they visit the "Land of Peace and Harmony" where all creatures, animal and human, live in harmony with one another.

I agree with Act II's description, the opening scene nicely represents peace and harmony as you can see from the clip below:

Christmas, Ballet, Holidays

This couple below were definitely fan favorites.  They had the audience applauding enthusiastically every time they went on because of the exciting lifts and moves they were constantly performing.

Ballet, Christmas, Holidays
The ballet captures the magic of the season and is something families will enjoy seeing together.  I could have taken my kids to see it with us but it was on a school night.  I know my  little girl, who is enchanted by pretty costumes and dancing, will love to watch this ballet someday.

Ballet, Christmas, Holidays

How about you, have you seen this ballet or know anyone who would like to watch it?  It also makes a nice Christmas gift!

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