One of the standard Christmas traditions for many people is to see Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker”. While the music, dancing, and sets are beautiful, seeing the same show year after year it can get a little…boring.
The antidote to this is British choreographer Matthew Bourne’s “Nutcracker”.
Famous for his controversial all-male version of “Swan Lake”, Bourne has made a name for himself in modern dance. In this campy take on the classic story, Clara is an orphan and the Nutcracker is a creepy-looking Howdy Doody doll, until he becomes a shirtless hunk. The sets are cartoony and the costumes are more than eccentric. Watching the taped version on Ovation as a part of their “Battle Of The Nutcrackers” program, you are able to get close-ups of the dancer’s expressive faces, which helps to tell the story.
All these elements make for a much more dramatic, and if you ask me, entertaining show than your typical ballet. I hope one day I can see it live, but that would mean a trip across the pond. In the meantime, you can catch it on the telly.