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THE NUTCRACKER (article first published : 1999-11-24)

Audiences never seem to tire of enjoying the classical ballet, The Nutcracker and all over the world it has become a festive season favourite. Thanks to sponsorship from NBS, the ballet will be presented for Durban audiences in The Summer Stage festive season by the Fantastic Flying Fish Dance Company in association with the Playhouse Company.

Mark Hawkins's acclaimed, visually-rich and fantastical version enjoyed rave reviews and sold-out performances for previous seasons at the Playhouse in 1997 and at the State Theatre in 1998. The ballet will be performed against Andrew Botha’s spectacular and colourful sets and will feature the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Naum Rousine. State Theatre Ballet senior soloist Anya Carstens will be alternating the lead role of Clara with Mary-Ann de Wet, and the role of the Nutcracker Prince will be shared by STB senior soloists Christian Tatchev and Andries Weidemann.

The time-honoured story of a young girl (Clara) who is given a nutcracker doll for Christmas is set to Tchaikovsky's music and based on the tale by ETA Hoffman (who also wrote the story of Coppélia). It offers magical sequences where Clara is whisked away to a realm of snow and sweet dreams. A visit to The Nutcracker is one of the most successful ways to introduce young children to the world of ballet.

The Nutcracker will run in the Playhouse Drama Theatre from December 11 to January 8 and early booking is advised. Performances Tuesday to Saturday at 19h00 with various 14h30 matinees. Tickets R45 with discounts for children, scholars, students and pensioners and for shows performed to recorded music. Book on www.computicket.com




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