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December 16   -   Royal Opera House

Watch: Why The Royal Ballet never tire of performing The Nutcracker

‘It just wouldn’t be Christmas without it!’ enthuses Principal dancer Lauren Cuthbertson of The Royal Ballet's classic production of The Nutcracker . In this film, shown as part of the production's live cinema relay earlier this month, Cuthbertson is joined by other members of the cast and the creative team to discuss why performers love the Christmas ballet just as much as audiences. ‘You can’t help but get bowled over by the spectacle of it all – the scenery, the growing tree and the tricks and transformations,’ says Director of The Royal Ballet Kevin O’Hare . ‘But also the score by Tchaikovsky is amazing and the way Peter Wright has put the choreography to it really tells the story.’ Lauren's fellow Principal Francesca Hayward also shares her thoughts on why the role of Clara continues to captivate audiences: ‘It’s like when you are a little girl and [imagining that] the boy on the poster in your bedroom comes to life. Like Zayn Malik ! It would be quite a cool thing to happen.’ Regarding the choreography, Cuthbertson says the role of The Sugar Plum Fairy is particularly demanding: ‘You have to make it feel very ethereal and light, but it’s very challenging. I don’t really want to say this to ruin the magic, but it’s so hard!’ The film also takes you behind-the-scenes into the rehearsal process, where Guest Principal Ballet Master of The Royal Ballet Christopher Carr schools the Company on each revival. ‘I was there when Peter Wright was creating it!’ says Carr of the 32-year-old production. 'I don’t like shortcuts, I don’t like fudging. I like it to be as clear and crisp as it can be. I push them to the limit – because I want it to be the very best that it can be.’ The production features almost all the Company's dancers, as well as students of The Royal Ballet School who perform the roles of the toy soldiers, the mice, smaller snowflakes and the gingerbread men. ‘I think its going to change my life a little bit,’ explains one student during rehearsals, because I can say to my friends and family "I’ve been in The Nutcracker".’ Watch more films like this on the Royal Opera House website: BBC Two will broadcast a special 90-minute documentary following the process of staging The Royal Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker on Christmas Day 2016 at 4pm. The Nutcracker runs until 12 January 2017. Tickets have now sold out, but returns may become available. The production is supported by Van Cleef & Arpels and is staged with generous philanthropic support from The Royal Opera House Endowment Fund .

Read this article in its entirety on Royal Opera House...

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