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TFO, Ontario's Francophone educational channel, will broadcast Nureyev's production of The Nutcracker, performed by the Paris Opera Ballet.

Sunday, December 20 at 8:00 p.m. ET

Friday, December 25 at 7:00 p.m. ET

Saturday, December 26 at 11:00 a.m. ET


TFO is my favourite Canadian channel. On most Sunday evenings it broadcasts operas, filmed primarily in France or Switzerland, and every Christmas it comes through with a ballet. If only the network would do it more often. Some 40 weeks of opera compared with one or two ballets annually isn't exactly an equitable arrangement!

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The good news is that the ballet was shown in its entirety. When this was filmed two years ago there was a great deal of consternation about the fact that French television opted to air a "digest" version of the ballet. The Nutcracker is short enough as it is; you wouldn't think there'd be much to cut. On the other hand, given the general weirdness of Nureyev's version, if a Nutcracker production could stand cutting, I suppose this would be it.

I am a little surprised that this performance hasn't been released on DVD yet. There haven't been any other Nutcracker releases this year, so I can't help thinking that market conditions would have been favourable.

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