As we bask in the lingering magic of Christmas and look to the year ahead, may all your days be sparkly and bright!
‘Tis the season once again! Christmas has been and gone and New Year’s Eve celebrations are taking centre stage at the moment as we all prepare to welcome in 2016.
Last year, Ballet Papier artist Berenice produced a fabulously festive gift for fans of her work – an enchanting short movie of The Nutcracker, starring a twinkle-toed troupe of paper ballerinas inspired by real balletomanes (including yours truly!) from all around the world. For Christmas 2015, she created a limited edition range of ceramic mugs and miniature notebooks featuring scenes from the film. I am honoured to be included in the selected artwork, depicted as the elegant Dew Drop Fairy. Happily, I am now the proud owner of one of “my” mugs – and the matching notebook.
As much as Christmas provides an excuse to indulge in special presents, perhaps the greatest gift it gives us is the reminder to reflect upon the past twelve months. Now is the time to be grateful for all of the good things we have experienced, achieved and received; while also looking forward to dancing into the future.
Prepare to be swept up in the excitement as Ballet Papier premieres The Nutcracker this Christmas
Christmas Day is here and Ballet Papier artist Berenice has got the season all wrapped up with the fabulously festive gift she has produced for fans of her work.
Inspired by real dancers from around the world, she has created a unique troupe of paper ballerinas to form the twinkle-toed Ballet Papier Company. After an audition process held via social media to decide the roles, the divinely drawn cast have now made their dazzling debut in an enchanting short movie of The Nutcracker.
Magic is in the air from the moment the curtains open to reveal the first ever paper ballet company in action. This splendid film is a must-see showcase of Berenice’s talents and a wonderful keepsake for all involved.
Lots of dance on television makes for a cracker of a Christmas
Christmas makes its presence felt as soon as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing waltzes onto our television screens. When the sequin-covered participants take their first tentative steps onto the dance floor, I just know that the final quarter of the year will whizz by and, shortly, the winner will be lifting the coveted glitterball trophy, before the nation frantically finishes decking the halls.
Pantomime season means flocks of families visit the theatre for some festive cheer, while traditional productions of The Nutcracker (on stage and on screen) attract balletomanes and newcomers alike.
But, once cosseted in our homes for the celebratory period (whether just for the big day itself, or for an extended break), it is more often than not the television that we rely on for entertainment. Dance fans were spoilt for choice with plenty of telly treats this Christmas. If this time of year is all about indulging in what you enjoy, I certainly fulfilled the brief when it came to setting time aside to view some gorgeous productions.
Alina Somova in The Mariinsky Ballet’s 2011 production of The Nutcracker (photo by Valentin Baranovsky, sourced from SpectiCast.com)
Christmas is a time for magic and nothing is more magical than a trip to the ballet so I seized the opportunity to see English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the London Coliseum.
With a plethora of pantomimes on offer at the moment, those seeking alternative festive fare should pirouette their way to the capital to see English National Ballet’s stylish Nutcracker at the London Coliseum. Currently captivating audience members of all ages, this is the perfect seasonal show for the whole family.
Former Artistic Director Wayne Eagling’s interpretation of the timeless classic is set in a frost-covered Edwardian London winter, on an enchanted Christmas Eve.
Anticipation is in the air as Clara and her brother Freddie prepare for their family’s Christmas party. The Christmassy scene is set with some clever ice skating and the children attending the matinee performance are transfixed from this point on.
English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at the London Coliseum (photography by Guy Farrow and Patrick Baldwin)
The Royal Ballet perform The Nutcracker.
Part of the Royal Opera House LIVE Season 2013/14 – Cineworld, Milton Keynes, Thursday 12th December 2013
Festive favourite The Nutcracker is a traditional part of the repertoire of The Royal Ballet, performed at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. This enchanting and enduring ballet epitomises the spirit and imagination of Christmas and is the ideal introduction to classical ballet (for children and adults alike).
Choreographed to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, Peter Wright’s production for The Royal Ballet was first seen in Covent Garden in 1984 and, after some tweaking in 1999, remains a must-see version. Set on Christmas Eve, the ballet features a big family party, toys that magically come to life, glittering snowflakes and a kingdom of sweets – making it the perfect seasonal story.
Unsurprisingly, tickets for this season’s run of The Nutcracker at the Royal Opera House have long sold out. However, veteran balletomanes and curious newcomers alike were given the opportunity to enjoy the Christmassy ballet last night at cinemas around the world as part of the Royal Opera House Live Cinema series.
STUNNING: Laura Morera and Federico Bonelli (as The Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier) in ‘The Nutcracker’ (photo by Tristram Kenton, ROH, 2013)