On 3, 4 and 5 December, Yacobson Ballet's version of The Nutcracker premièred at the Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theatre, which was completely sold out. This particular iteration was produced by Nikolay Tsiskaridze, who himself played the Nutcracker Prince over 100 times. The experienced dance masters received a standing ovation, as did the young students from the Vaganova Russian Ballet Academy, who were utterly brilliant as the legendary show’s child characters. The audience was also highly appreciative of Pyotr Okunev’s upgraded set, which used modern technology to evoke a Disney-esque fairy-tale, and of Tatiana Noginova’s colourful, imaginative take on the intricate costumes. This new Christmas extravaganza — or rather, the good old original cut, restored by Tsiskaridze after trimming down the later additions — won over not only the adult ballet aficionados, but also (and most importantly!) children, the production’s core audience. The very first reviews in the press reaffirm that the première has been successful.
All top channels and print publications have had something to say about this theatrical news-maker. One of the ballet’s most accurate assessments, titled ‘A Warm Winter Fairy-Tale’, was written by prominent critic Anna Gordeeva almost immediately after the show was over. When highlighting the Yacobson dancers’ performance quality, she notes, ‘…The Yacobson company always dances well, but this particular première has given it an equal footing with the Mariinsky and Bolshoi’. ‘At the same time, this is a delightfully cosy production. During the very first scene, which takes place outside the Stahlbaum residence and shows the guests preparing for the festive evening, your soul is touched by a captivating sensation of warmth...’ We are confident that theatre-goers will be very excited for a new chance to experience this legendary ballet, now back to its original roots.
Photo by Stanislav Levshin