Tchaikovsky’s now famed, The Nutcracker score originally premiered a week before Christmas in 1892. It’s a majestic, timeless work and I can’t imagine a world without it. Congratulations to conductor, Nigel Gaynor and the Queensland Symphony Orchestra for their orchestral excellence on opening night.
The story of The Nutcracker is one of those childhood stories that never grows tiresome. Although, personally, this year, those giant rats racing around a bedroom were a bit terrifying.
I endured an infestation of the real thing after the recent floods plus cold snap saw them seeking warm, dry accommodation inside our homes. They really did race around my bedroom during the night while I frantically googled emergency rodent control.
Rats aside, it was a wonderful performance. It was the first time that we got to see Mia Heathcote and Patricio Reve perform as principals since their recent dual promotion.
Mia was resplendent as the Snow Queen and fittingly, Patricio played a Prince. There’s an incredible chemistry between him and Mia when paired together in a pas de Deux. Patricio’s strength and energy was unwavering as he shouldered the lion’s share of the dancing.
This year, the Sugar Plum Fairy was perfectly danced by principal, Yanela Pinera. She was accompanied by the magical, unmistakable sound of the celesta.
Carried around by Alexander Idaszak, Neneka Yoshida was an extremely flexible Arabian dancer who bordered on contortionist abilities.
Speaking of contortionism, the Russian Cossack is always an incredulous audience favourite. Soloist, Vito Bernasconi really made that role his own to tremendous applause.
The entire performance of this annual tradition was flawless and delightful and I’m already looking forward to seeing it again next year.
Playhouse – QPAC, Cultural Precinct, South Bank (Brisbane)
Performance: Friday 2 December 2022
Season continues to 23 December 2022
For more information, visit: www.queenslandballet.com.au for details.
Image: Yanela Pinera and Patricio Reve in Ben Stevenson’s The Nutcracker – photo by David Kelly Photography
Review: Michele-Rose Boylan