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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | January 28, 2022

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The Nutcracker: A Magical Christmas Story

The Nutcracker: A Magical Christmas Story
Claire Matthews

Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker is a classic Christmas story and the perfect way to ring in the festive season.

Showing from 16 to 23 December at QPAC’s Lyric Theatre, The Nutcracker transports audiences to an enchanting world of snow, dreams and magic. Tchaikovsky’s iconic music is performed by Queensland Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Nigel Gaynor.

The choreography by Ben Stevenson OBE, together with the sets by Thomas Boyd and lavish costumes by Desmond Heeley bring the story to life. The QPAC stage is transformed into a grand living room, a snowy landscape, and a palace.

This Nutcracker season is also Principal dancer Camilo Ramos’ final season before retiring from his professional ballet career. He’s performing as the Nutcracker prince, alongside his wife, Principal dancer Yanela Piñera. I had the chance to see them perform together on opening night, and it certainly was a special moment.

The ballet begins with a lavish Christmas party. The mysterious Dr Drosselmeyer, dressed in a sweeping black cape, arrives and entertains the children with magic tricks. He then gives Clara (Lou Spichtig) a present, a wooden Nutcracker. After the party, Clara falls asleep and dreams. The Christmas tree grows, and the room fills with giant mice who attack her. Life-sized toy soldiers come to her rescue, led by the Nutcracker (Liam Geck). The Nutcracker turns into a prince (Camilo Ramos) and transforms the house into the Land of Snow.

It starts snowing on stage as Clara watches the Snow Queen (Neneka Yoshida) and the Snow Prince (Victor Estevez) dance with the Snowflakes. Neneka and Victor danced a beautiful pas de deux on a landscape of snow. Clara and the Nutcracker Prince then depart in a sleigh shaped like a swan.

Neneka Yoshida and Victor Estevez

In Act II, Clara and the Nutcracker Prince arrive in the Kingdom of Sweets. Clara is entertained by dancers from Spain (Serena Green, Zac Fang, Sophie Zoricic, Joseph Chapman, Vanessa Morelli, and Rian Thompson), Arabia (Chiara Gonzalez and Patricio Revé), China (Shaun Curtis and Edward Pope) and Russia (Vito Bernasconi). There’s also the Waltz of the Flowers, led by Georgia Swan and Joel Woellner.

The highlight of the show is the grand pas de deux between the Sugar Plum Fairy (Yanela Piñera) and the Nutcracker Prince (Camilo Ramos). Yanela and Camilo danced with real artistry and passion and were a joy to watch.

Yanela Pinera and Camilo Ramos

The Nutcracker is an enchanting and thoroughly enjoyable production, that takes you away from the stress of the everyday to a magical world. It’s perfect for unwinding and getting into the holiday mood.

The Details:

What: Queensland Ballet’s The Nutcracker

When: 16-23 December 2021

Where: QPAC Lyric Theatre

Tickets/ More info: Here.