This historic 1968 Covent Garden production of Tchaikovsky's ballet masterpiece captures Rudolf Nureyev at the peak of his career. Nureyev's legendary performance makes this the definitive Nutcracker on DVD.
Another great historical performance from the Royal Ballet at Covent Garden in London that's been captured on tape, this 1968 production of Tchaikovsky's perennial holiday classic The Nutcracker
stars two of the premier dancers of their (or any) time: ballerina Merle Park and the redoubtable Rudolf Nureyev. Both are seen in their considerable prime. Nureyev's choreography and production are also tastefully done, with the opening March of the Toy Soldiers and the climactic Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies particularly beautifully handled.
Conductor Charles Taylor leads the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House in a merry and vigorous reading of Tchaikovsky's wonderfully appealing score. As always with such legendary stagings taped for posterity, the video and audio quality aren't perfect, but they are more than adequate enough to appreciate and be endlessly entertained by Nureyev's, Park's, and Tchaikovsky's balletic mastery. --Kevin Filipski