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Hi,

I'm watching the Royal Opera House Nutcracker on Ovation (that's what they call it- is it the Royal Ballet?)

and I'm wondering if the young woman dancing Clara/Marie is a studen or a member of the company. I'm always confused by how different companies do this- she is definitely young but doing quite a bit of dancing on pointe- which I know students are capabale of, but it seems like a lot to be resting on a student's shoulders.

Thanks,

Sandi

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The name confused me, too. It's the Royal Ballet and that's Alina Cojocaru dancing Clara - definitely NOT a student, she's one of the premiere ballerinas in the world today. I tried to watch it last night at midnight but fell asleep very early on...too bad they ran it so late.

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if i've got this correctly, and UK members can reply with more confidence, Peter Wright's Clara is cast with a young Royal Ballet dancer, in '85 for this same production the dancer was Julie Rose; in the later one, Alina Cojocaru. The other youngsters in the party scene are i believe all students from the Royal Ballet School.

in 1985 she was Julie Rose:

The nutcracker [videorecording] / produced by the BBC in association with Arts International ; directed for television by John Vernon ; choreography by Peter Wright after Lev Ivanov ; music by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky.

U.K. : Thorn EMI HBO Video, 1985. (120 min.) : sd., col.

Performed by artists of the Royal Ballet and pupils of the Royal Ballet School: Michael Coleman (Herr Drosselmeyer), Julie Rose (Clara), Guy Niblett (Nutcracker), Lesley Collier (Sugar plum fairy), Anthony Dowell (the prince), and others.

Scenario, Marius Petipa, revised by Peter Wright, based on the story by E.T.A. Hoffmann ; scenery and costumes, Julia Trevelyan Oman ; lighting, John B. Read.

Videotaped in performance at the Royal Opera House, London, on January 30, 1985.

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Hi,

I'm watching the Royal Opera House Nutcracker on Ovation (that's what they call it- is it the Royal Ballet?)

and I'm wondering if the young woman dancing Clara/Marie is a studen or a member of the company. I'm always confused by how different companies do this- she is definitely young but doing quite a bit of dancing on pointe- which I know students are capabale of, but it seems like a lot to be resting on a student's shoulders.

Thanks,

Sandi

I was hoping this was going to be the "new" Royal Ballet Nutcracker, the one with Iohnna Loots as Clara and Alexandra Ansanelli dancing Sugar Plum.

/disappointed

-goro-

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a colleague has pointed out that there is something of an extended background/backstage look at the use of Royal Ballet School pupils in the Peter Wright's NUTCRACKER documented in the 4th episode ("High Hopes") of the BBC series from the 1990s (we couldn't name the precise year).

the pupil chosen for Clara that year was a 12-year-old from the school.

i don't know if the series was ever marketed commercially, but it was initially shown in the UK as "The House" and here in the States as "The Royal Opera House" and was given in 6, one-hour programs.

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Sir Anthony Dowell expanded the role of Clara/Marie in Act 2 for Alina Cojocaru. This role was one of her first assignments as a new Royal Ballet member. He did the same for Drosselmeyer's nephew, Hans-Peter in Act 2. That's why they participate in each dance in the divertissement, except for the Grand pas de deux and the flower waltz. Before Cojocaru joined the company, it was a student's role. I haven't seen this production live since the mid-90s, so they may have reverted back to students for Clara/Marie. Could someone please confirm yes or no about that? During the first years of this production, and in the dvd featuring Dowell and Lesley Collier as the Prince and Sugar Plum, I remember that Clara/Marie and Hans-Peter didn't participate in the Act 2 dances. In the Cojocaru dvd, Yoshida and Cope are outstanding in the grande pdd, but IMO Dowell and Collier have the edge. The latter dvd is a collector's item because it documents one of Collier's final performances.

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Sir Anthony Dowell expanded the role of Clara/Marie in Act 2 for Alina Cojocaru. This role was one of her first assignments as a new Royal Ballet member. He did the same for Drosselmeyer's nephew, Hans-Peter in Act 2. That's why they participate in each dance in the divertissement, except for the Grand pas de deux and the flower waltz.

I wish he hadn't!

She is lovely of course but I think it ruins Act 2. She just sort of hops up and gets involved in everything and it detracts rather than adding to it in my opinion.

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I wish he hadn't!

She is lovely of course but I think it ruins Act 2. She just sort of hops up and gets involved in everything and it detracts rather than adding to it in my opinion.

Yes. Yes. Yes. I'm so sorry he did it. Though I think it's actually Wright's fault. It reflects what he did in his production for the BRB.

A couple of years ago Alastair Macaulay reviewed both the Wright production and the Nureyev production for the POB. Having recently seen films of both with the same casts Macaulay saw, I have to say he was right on the money.

When Mr. Wright first staged his Covent Garden “Nutcracker” in 1984, his first point of emphasis was to show that the story is about old Drosselmeyer’s efforts to get his beloved nephew back from Nutcracker form. His second was to make at least one part of the ballet into just another love story between the young Nutcracker and little Clara, even though both are supposed to be children. Yet these elements did not obtrude unduly. There was nothing much wrong that he and his designer, Julia Trevelyan Oman, could not have put right. Their original production demonstrated an incomplete but interesting intention to honor much of the 1892 original.

In 1999, however, Mr. Wright overhauled his own production, giving the Nutcracker and Clara much more to do (they spoil almost every divertissement dance in Act II by trying to join in) and making Drosselmeyer a flamboyant master of ceremonies throughout, with a red-haired assistant who upstages everybody before vanishing. Almost nothing is left that makes “The Nutcracker” different from other ballets, and parts of the story, especially in the party scene, are badly told.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/17/arts/dan...7nutc.html?_r=1

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Sir Anthony Dowell expanded the role of Clara/Marie in Act 2 for Alina Cojocaru.

I was surprised to read this and therefore checked back in various archives. It would appear that Marta Barahona created the role of Clara in this production and that, because Marta was injured, Alina Cojocaru replaced her the evening the production was filmed for television. I would add that the production was very much Peter Wright's rather than Anthony Dowell's.

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