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Tchaikovsky - Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! / Matthew Bourne, Anthony Ward (2005)

Scott Ambler , Emily Piercy , Ross MacGibbon  |  NR |  DVD
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Tchaikovsky - Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! / Matthew Bourne, Anthony Ward + Swan Lake: Matthew Bourne + Sleeping Beauty: A Gothic Romance
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Product Details

  • Actors: Scott Ambler, Emily Piercy, Saranne Curtin, Ewan Wardrop, Etta Murfitt
  • Directors: Ross MacGibbon
  • Producers: Mark Wells, Peter Maniura, Phil Jowett
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kultur Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
  • Run Time: 88 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000ARXF5A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #78,410 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Tchaikovsky - Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! / Matthew Bourne, Anthony Ward" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

One of his earliest pieces of choreography, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker is also one of his most charming and imaginative. Moving the Christmas party from a comfortable middle-class home to a Dickensian orphanage whose proprietors starve their wards to spoil their own children, it then shifts to a wonderland where sweets and sugar are a none-too-subtle metaphor for sexual awakening. In both worlds, Clara (Etta Murfitt) has to struggle to be a heroine, or even a participant, in her own story and her struggle for the muscular, sexy Alan Vincent with her bitchy rival Sugar (Soranne Curtin) is not resolved until the last moments of the ballet.

Along the way, Bourne finds charming and sexy ways to make all of the well-known genre moments of the score fresh and new--the Chinese dancers are a bunch of daffy marshmallow girls in pink, for example, whose dance is all strutting cuteness. There is a truly stunning transformation scene at the beginning of the waltz, which like much else in the score becomes a complex ensemble in which all the character dancers have their own things to do. Bourne's Nutcracker has become a popular favorite, and deservedly so. The Royal Philharmonic eloquently performas the score. --Roz Kaveney

Product Description

Tchaikovsky's much-loved score and Olivier award winning designer Anthony Ward's stunning sets and costumes with sizzling choreography. Promising a fresh serving of the traditional Christmas far, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! is a delightful feast for all of the family.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
There's more hip and tongue action in Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker than Tchaikovsky or Balanchine probably envisaged, but nevertheless the ballet is funny, touching, original and witty. More to the point, it remains charming and innocent while Bourne brings a whole new look and style to the old perennial.

This time there is no sumptuous family Christmas celebration or crowds of cute dancing tykes. We're in a dim, cold orphanage which Dr. Dross (Scott Ambler) and his wife, the matron (Emily Piercy), run with an unsmiling strictness. Their two children, Sugar (Saranne Curtin) and Fritz (Ewan Wardrop) are spoiled, snotty monsters. One of the orphans, Clara (Etta Murfitt), longs to escape. Magically, after a sad little Christmas party, a nutcracker doll (Alan Vincent) comes to life, rescues Clara and punishes Dr. Dross, the Matron and their children. Clara finds herself in an enchanted winterland. Then, with the help of two cupids in striped pajamas, she makes her way to Sweetieland, where everything, including the people, are made of candy. And here Dr. Dross is the smiling King Sherbet, the Matron is the beautiful Queen Candy and their two children have become Princess Sugar and Prince Bonbon. The Nutcracker, to Clara's wondering eyes, has become a handsome young man who looks much like the shy fellow who gazed longingly at Clara in the orphanage. After all the great Tchaikovsky dances, the party in Sweetieland comes to a close, and Clara finds herself back at the orphanage. It hasn't changed. It's as cold and barren as before. But then she sees waiting for her the young man. He ties a sheet to a bed, they toss the end out the window, and escape together.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and creative twist on a classic; worth several looks November 11, 2005
Matthew Bourne's version of the Nutcracker has a storyline that begins in a Victorian orphanage, where Dr. Dross (Drosselmeyer in the traditional version) and his wife are portrayed as pompous meanies who intimidate the kids. Further contrasting with the original, the Dross children are ungrateful, spoiled brats, and act true to form during their visit to the orphanage. The Governors arrive to inspect the ward, but there's more bickering than revelry, and the presents they've brought for the children get taken away as soon as the "festivity" (read commotion) is over. Come bedtime, Clara dreams that the Nutcracker doll (who's a dead ringer for a puppet from the Howdy Doody Show; hilarious!) comes to life, breaks apart the walls of the orphanage, and whisks her away to a snowy paradise. The second act takes us to "Sweetieland," where everything (and everyone, apparently) is made of candy. When Clara falls in love with the Nutcracker Prince, a love triangle(!) results when the Sugar Plum Fairy also makes overtures to the prince. After the requisite series of theme dances we're back at the orphanage, where Clara wakes up to discover that her "prince" is actually one of the boys in the ward.

The unique mix of characters and storyline held my attention throughout, with help from the original Tchaikovsky score that enabled me keep my bearings from beginning to end (i.e., "so this music occurs when this character . . ."). The more one is familiar with the traditional Nutcracker story, the easier it will be to make the leap into Mr. Bourne's fantasy, as comparisons between this and the original interpretations will be more interesting and enlightening.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the original, but still enjoyable. February 5, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
When I saw Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! in person a few years ago, I was hooked on his storytelling style. I was super excited to find that there was a DVD of the ballet. As much as I enjoy watching it again, it still has the same problem that any live stage event has- you're forced to see what the camera is showing you, instead of being able to look at the whole picture and focus on the different areas of the stage. However, this problem is even more annoying in a Matthew Bourne production, as he always has so much going on all over the stage that you want to see. I would love to see a production DVD that has 2 versions of the show- one with a set camera angle and one edited with the different shots/ close-ups. Other than that, it's a great DVD of the show.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Whole New Nutcracker December 11, 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is a nutcracker unlike any other. Reset in a dreary Victorian Orphanage, the stakes are raised for Clara and her would be Nutcracker Prince. The dancing is amazing and the concept is revelatory. You'll never feel the same way about the traditional Nutcracker again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Huh! February 16, 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I have bought & watched Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake & loved it. The additions he makes to classical ballet I enjoyed. This Nutcracker however, I saw he changed the setting to an orphanage but then had trouble following the story as it progressed.

The dancing was again very original & I enjoyed it once again. I had a large problem with the story line & felt that if I had not known the original story of the Nutcracker that I would have enjoyed this much more. The confusion hurt the experience on this one for me. I am going to find a show by Mr. Bourne that I am unaware of what is supposed to happen & see if that helps. 3 1/2 Stars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Again Matthew Bourne is fantastic!
I didn't even miss Barinishkovs marvelous Nutcracker. This is really a whole different and engaging story. I loved the clever baby Aurora. So much fun. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pat Black
5.0 out of 5 stars A match made in Heaven
With wonderful Tchaikovsky music and Matthew Bourne's exciting and interesting concepts resulting to clever and modern dance moves, it's a match made in heaven!!
Published 3 months ago by R. A. Van-Berkel
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes
As a retired ballet dancer and teacher, I appreciate the different view point of Mathew Bourne's Nutcracker. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Iris
1.0 out of 5 stars Clunky and Graceless
The sets are clunky. The costumes are clunky. The dancing is mostly clunky. Some of the dancing is more like synchronized calisthenics. The dancers mug like goofballs. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Barthbill
While not as well known as his version of "Swan Lake", Matthew Bourne's "Nutcracker" will not fail to entertain. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Classic Movie Buff
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Choreography
I saw Matthew Bourne's version of Swan Lake and loved it. That experience motivated me to purchase his Nutcracker. I wasn't disappointed and I recommend it for your consideration.
Published 15 months ago by D M Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Love Matthew Bourne!
Matthew Bourne gives a whole new meaning to The Nutcracker. He totally rocks this standard ballet! Want more Matthew Bourne!
Published 18 months ago by Deanne C. Davis
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it
It is a twisted verison of the Nutcracker but my fav. version of the production. It is Different from the origional version but has more theatre acting in it along with the... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Nutcracker - not what I expected
Was disappointed in this movie. The packaging give the impression of a male version like Swan Lake.
It is too avant-garde for my taste.
Published 19 months ago by Lou Simon
Published 19 months ago by seventyandcouunt
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