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silvy

Nureyev's "Nutcracker"

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I have never ever seen Nureyev's version of Nutcracker. I have seen it is available for purchase in DVD format (Royal Ballet,with Merle Park as Sugarplum) , and I would like to hear comments/ opinions about the version

I understand that Nureyev effected some changes, and I am particularly interested to learn how effective these changes are, and if he had changed the Sugar Plum pdd and variations.

Thanks so much

Silvy

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Merle Park is WAY miscast as the girlish Clara. But besides the idea of having Drosselmeyer and the Prince danced by one dancer (in this case, Nureyev :)) the Nutcracker is pretty close to the Vainonen version. There are some menacing bats in Act 2 that the Prince fights away. Otherwise, it's just Vainonen-influenced.

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He did change the Sugar Plum pas de deux, especially the coda (and they're not from the Vainonen.) Lots of pas de chat, both dancers doing the same steps in the coda. There's also an unusual lift, if I'm remembering correctly, with the ballerina perched on the cavalier's outstretched leg.

I believe, too, that the divertissements are different from the Vainonen. Nureyev did use the Vainonen waltz of the snowflakes, I think, or something very close to it. The idea of having a "psychological" Nutcracker is Vainonen, as far as I know; I don't think there are earlier versions. But I believe that in Nureyev's for the Royal, the family members and party guests dance the diverts, and that, for good or ill, that was his invention.

I'd second what Canbelto said about Park. I'm not a fan, in theory, of ballerinas-playing-children, so I think any ballerina looks too old! :)

This version does show off the Royal Ballet at that time, though.

Nureyev's Nutcracker is also available danced by POB with (again, from memory) Hilaire and Elisabeth Maurin, both quite young, in the leads. And I think the corps is just gorgeous in the waltz of the Snowflakes!

Edited by Alexandra

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You're right, Alexandra, there is a version by the POB at least in video and I believe there is a DVD now.

Clara is Elisabeth Maurin and Laurent Hilaire is the prince. Elisabeth Maurin was named an Etoile during the filming. She's a wonderful Clara :) and the corps de ballet is just gorgeous to my mind. Although it was filmed in 1987, it still looks great !

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