There’s a fabulous weekend of dance in prospect at the beginning of December when Grimsby Auditorium plays host to two of the world’s best loved ballets – Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker (on Friday 1st) and Swan Lake (Sunday 3rd).
Both are directed and choreographed by former Bolshoi Ballet Soloist, Konstantin Uralsky and performed by the company and orchestra of The Russian State Ballet and Opera House.
Swan Lake is a tale of two young women, Odette and Odile, who resemble each other so closely one can easily be mistaken for the other. It’s a tragic romance in which a princess is turned into a swan by an evil curse and captures, like no other ballet, the full range of human emotions – from hope to despair, from terror to tenderness, from melancholy to ecstasy.
And of course Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to your local theatre for a dazzling production of the most famous ballet in the world – The Nutcracker.
Based on “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King” written by E.T.A. Hoffmann, it tells the story of Marie, a rather sad little girl, whose godfather Drosselmeyer gives her a nutcracker doll as a present on Christmas Eve. Expect snow flurries, sweets, princes, magic, love, victories and defeats and more.
To book tickets call
Box Office: 0300 300 0035
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or book in person at the Grimsby Auditorium pay cash for no booking or transaction fees
or call into the Cleethorpes TIC
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Live Stream from Royal Opera House @ Whitgift Film Theatre
Tuesday 17th March 2015
Reviewed by Josie Gray
From the melancholy solo opening notes of the oboe to the final dramatic climax of the closing movement, Tchaikovsky’s epic Swan Lake remains one of the most popular ballet scores in the history of classical ballet. In this beautiful production AnthonyDowell’s breathtaking interpretation takes the audience into a magical, romantic and ultimately tragic world of bygone Russian royal power undermined by calculating evil.
The great challenge in Swan Lake is for the prima ballerina to capture the essence of the dual roles of Odette/Odile and make both equally convincing. Natalia Osipova is exceptional in both roles although for me she demonstrates more intense drama in her capture of Odile in Act III. Matthew Golding as Prince Siegfried is certainly dashing, strong and masculine but his fresh, buffed good looks are a littletoo clean cut to be the darker and more brooding presence that the part requires. Von Rothbart, danced by Gary Avis, is full of menace and intensity and he casts a sense of dread over the production.
The corps de ballet is exceptional and works seamlessly to provide beautiful set pieces and exquisite still moments particularly when Odette and Siegfried are declaring their love in those famous pas de deux sequences in Act II. The discipline and technique required to hold those shapes are notorious and dancers are required to exercise extreme levels of self control to maintain them. In ballet, artists truly suffer for their art. The well loved and often parodied Dance of the Cygnets is gorgeous with the dancers mimicking a paddling movement with their feet that evokes webbed feet in water. The Neapolitan Dance in Act III is also particularly good as it is intricate and exciting and danced with spectacular energy in this production.
I was wondering if the live stream experience could get close to the true live experience of being in the theatre. Due to the quality of the filming those of us in the cinema certainly had a better view of the performance than we would have had in many of the seats in the Royal Opera House. The sound quality was excellent so the music could be enjoyed and appreciated. The glimpses of backstage and Darcey Bussell’s hosting were interesting and enjoyable. The whole principle of live streaming is one to be celebrated as it widens participation in arts that are seen as inaccessible and enables those who have no means to visit venues like the Royal Opera House a chance to see the very best of productions. It isn’t live and as it isn’t the same as attending a live performance but it is completely engaging and thoroughly enjoyable.
The cinema was about two thirds full on Tuesday evening and I wondered where all the dance school teachers and their aspiring young dancers were. After all an important part of the process of becoming an excellent performer is watching excellent performers and being inspired by them. With any luck they’ll all read this and be there next time. That would be nice and the enterprising people at the Whitgift deserve the support.
The Whitgift Film Theatre is online at whitgiftfilmtheatre.co.uk and they’re on Facebook too
Words by Josie Gray