Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker and the Mouse King Special Edition - Exclusive Bonus Feature [Blu-ray]
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This disc was issued not long ago at more than twice the price. My well received review for that release is copy/pasted below. Many may find it even more tempting at the lower price now being asked.
Previous release's review
This version of the Nutcracker Ballet by Wayne Eagling and Toer van Schayk was created as long ago as 1996 and has been a popular and regular part of the Dutch Ballet repertoire ever since. It differs from the Petipa based versions in several ways as described in some detail below and which may or may not be a problem for non-Dutch purchasers.
The setting is placed in Amsterdam in 1810 rather than a small German town. The time of the action is on the eve of St. Nicholas rather than Christmas Eve. This is because there was no tradition of giving Christmas presents in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 19th century. Neither of these changes seems to me to require very much adjustment on the part of the viewer - just a little flexibility, even though the use of ice skates for some of the initial dancing outside Clara's house may come as more of a surprise! It reminded me of my eldest daughter's experience of living in Holland several years ago where temporary outdoors skating rinks were a regular feature of Dutch winter life.
More importantly there are major changes to the 2nd act where, instead of being set in the Kingdom of Sweets, Clara dreams that she has been transported to a land through a magical lantern where people from Clara's life and the 1st act party reappear. These also arrive through the magic lantern lens which forms a central part of the backdrop scenery.Read more ›
I have six versions of the traditional Nutcracker, all with their slight variations. It was refreshing to see it with non-Petipa choreography.
The adult Clara is danced by Anna Tsygankova, who also danced the title character in the Dutch National Ballet's Giselle. She was very good in Giselle, but her dancing in this production was much more impressive. It was also nice that the child Clara so closely resembled the adult.
Anyone knowing the more-traditional choreographies/stagings of this work may be pleasantly surprised or unpleasantly shocked by the proceedings. Yes, all of the big solo moments pretty much follow the traditional balletic script. It's in the "set-up" pieces and a couple of the set pieces that the innovation is apparent.
The video is super sharp with beautiful colors. The audio is very good if not of demonstration quality.
BTW - the "exclusive bonus feature" on this BluRay has nothing to do with The Nutcracker. It's an advertising reel featuring highlights from 50 other Arthaus video productions that you may want to buy.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is quite a different version from the one we are used to seeing. It is excellent in its own way and if you are looking for something different from the usual. Read morePublished 17 days ago by JRJoseph
This is my new favorite version of the timeless classic. Wish I had discovered it sooner.Published 1 month ago by No4MkI
Beautiful music, beautiful dancing, but not the traditional Nutcracker. My five-year-old was gifted this in preparation for attending her first Nutcracker ballet performance. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Alysson McDonald
Up front let me state the Royal Ballet version of this ballet is my absolute favorite. That said, I was looking forward to seeing this. Read morePublished 2 months ago by CWJ
We'll be watching it closer to the holidays. But it looks like a very good production.Published 5 months ago by Satisfied shopper.
A delightful, interesting production of the classic Tchaikovsky favorite by the Dutch National Ballet company. Read morePublished 8 months ago by JHB-4
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