I was only 3-years-old the first time my mother took me at Place-des-Arts to see The Nutcracker by Les Grands Ballets. While I can’t say that I have fond memories from that particular day, I now have a deep connection with the ballet choreographed by the late Fernand Nault. Over the years, I have had the chance to see The Nutcracker countless time, and I was also lucky enough to be selected to play an angel one year. It was such a memorable experience to be on stage with so many talented dancers and hear the orchestra perform the iconic Tchaïchovski score every night. It was most certainly one of the most exciting periods in my life.
Since I am so passionate about The Nutcracker, I thought I’d share with you five reasons to get tickets for this famous piece from the classical ballet repertoire:
1. To put you in a festive mood. Indeed, there’s nothing else like the two-act ballet based on Hoffmann’s classic tale to kick off the holiday season. The story of Clara and her Nutcracker is the ultimate holiday fairytale, which is why so many families enjoy the ballet year after year (and you can even get discounted tickets for children aged 12 and under!).
2. Because Fernand Nault’s choreography is simply brilliant and timeless. It features 165 characters, including 34 company dancers who very often play different roles showcasing their versatility and immense talent. The ballet also includes many young dancers who perform on stage for the first time as a mouse, a child of the party, an angel, an oriental or a sheep.
3. To hear the delightful music composed by Tchaïchovski—also famous for other ballet masterpieces such as Swan Lake and The Sleeping Beauty—conducted with great poised by Florian Ziemen and performed by the orchestra of Les Grands Ballets.
4. To admire the intricate and colourful work by world-renowned costume designer François Barbeau, the enchanting setting made by Peter Horne as well as the magical lighting designs by Nicholas Cernovitch.
5. Because 2,000,000 spectators have seen the ballet since its creation in 1964. Not only that, Les Grands’ version of The Nutcracker is breaking the national record of the show that has played for the longest time in the same venue in all of Canada. Isn’t that impressive?
The Nutcracker will be presented until December 30th at La Place-des-Art.
Catherine xoPhotography: Renaud Vinet-Houle