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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | January 18, 2021

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Best of Nutcracker: Christmas Magic with Queensland Ballet

Best of Nutcracker: Christmas Magic with Queensland Ballet
Claire Matthews

Queensland Ballet are bringing some Christmas magic to the QPAC stage from 4-5 December with a special production of Best of The Nutcracker.

The Nutcracker has been an annual tradition for QB for the past seven years and QB said there has been high demand from audiences to perform it this year.

Queensland Ballet is giving away 1,000 tickets to show their gratitude to their audiences for their support this year. Also, to recognise the efforts and struggles of the community during COVID.

Best of Nutcracker will feature highlights from Ben Stevenson OBE’s production, including the much-loved Kingdom of the Snow, and then crowd favourites from the Land of the Sweets, the Arabian and Russian dances, Waltz of the Flowers and the famous Sugar Plum Fairy pas de deux.

TCI had a quick chat with artistic director Li Cunxin, in the teeming Queensland Ballet studios in West End. To start, I asked Li what audiences can expect in Best of Nutcracker. He said, “Well, they’re going to get all the best dancing parts from the kingdom of the snow all the way to the kingdom of the sweet. So all the famous dances and people’s favourite dancing elements.”

Best of Nutcracker will be performed to a full capacity audience, due to the newly eased restrictions. Li said, “It’s just thrilling. Absolutely. So it’s going to be very emotional, very special to be able to perform to a full audience, recognising that the rest of the world are still going through a very tough time, so we feel very privileged and lucky.”

QB’s dancers have just come off from performing Giselle at HOTA, and are looking forward to performing Best of Nutcracker. Li said, “The dancers are already in top shape. We have just done Giselle in the Gold Coast and we have been training them ever since the lockdown period. So, obviously, they need to get their choreography back into their body, but they are such professionals, they are so adaptable, so versatile. They are really rising to the challenge.”

Queensland Ballet are giving away a thousand tickets to Best of Nutcracker. I asked Li what inspired this initiative. He said, “We feel it is very important for us to recognise the people in our community who have made incredible contributions to help get us through this difficult pandemic period.” Li said they want to recognise front-line workers, doctors, nurses, school teachers, and community workers, and also those who lost livelihood this year. Li also hopes that the free tickets will encourage new audiences to ballet. “We will be looking out for those people who may never be able to afford to or who may never have come to see a ballet. We want to give a thousand tickets to the wider community to show our appreciation.”

To close, I asked Li how it feels to wrap up their 2020 season with this small-scale version of The Nutcracker. He said, “We are just over the moon about being able to perform such a beautiful, magical ballet as Nutcracker and have the opportunity to gift to the community of such a much-beloved classical ballet as the Nutcracker. We hope this will add to people’s Christmas cheer.”

There’s so much to look forward to in Queensland Ballet’s 2021 season. Li said he’s excited to “continue to bring the magic people are expect Queensland Ballet to deliver. Also we will celebrate our 60 year anniversary, which was from this year. To be able to, with our art form, to bring the community together again.”

So, get into the Christmas spirit and take your family to see Best of Nutcracker next weekend. Tickets are now on sale. Nominations for giveaway tickets are now open and close Thursday 26th November at 8pm AEST.


The Details:

What: Queensland Ballet presents ‘Best of Nutcracker

When: 4-5 December 2020

Where: QPAC Concert Hall

Tickets: $30 for children, $50 for Queensland Ballet season subscribers, $60 for adults, and $150 for families. Book here. Nominate for giveaway tickets here.