Friday, January 12, 2007


Herr Drosselmeyer: Christopher Saunders
Clara: Natasha Oughtred
Hans-Peter/The Nutcracker: Steven McRae
Sugar Plum Fairy: Laura Morera
The Prince: Viacheslav Samodurov

Act 1
Saunders, an experienced Herr Drosselmeyer, seemed to be rushing through his mime and brashly executed his actions. Then again, it may have been the music; conducted by Boris Gruzin, which may have speed up the score in the first act, resulting in a lot of wishy washy footwork. With the exceptionally fast music in Act 1, Oughtred’s Clara and her partner, James Wilkie, along with the white lodgers as children, struggled to keep up, and compensated with messy footwork and lines.
Act 1 Party Scene’s dazzling star belonged to Samantha Raine’s Vivandiere. Her superb performance was filled with dashing, smart and good attack. She is a dancer who have improved tremenduously this season. Sian Murphy as Columbine was very unsteady, with a few wobbles and misses. Personally I enjoyed Philip Mosley and Olivia Cowley, as the Grandparents, the most; both dancers put on a sweet and lovely act.

Curtain call: Steven McRae and Natasha Oughtred as Hans-Peter and Clara [photo by DaveM]
In the transformation scene, the short duet between Hans-Peter and Clara, McRae was gorgeous, divine even; with fluidity in his adagios and he lingers his extensions and balances till the final moment. While his jumps hovered forever in the air, those arabesques, was almost equivalent to a penchee. Oughtred gave a steadier performance as compared to the earlier scenes, one would assume that with McRae around, he might have boost her confidance a little. She blossomed much more when dancing with him, but in this case, the male dancer took the limelight.
Amidst the snow kingdom, the corp de ballet gave a brilliant performance, with Tara-Brigitte Bhavnani shining the brightest.
Act 2

Cast curtain call [photo by DaveM]
Christina Arestis, partnered by David Makhateli, Johannes Stepanek and Ernst Meisner in the Arabian Dance. Makhateli proved to be a sturdy support for his tall dancer, while Arestis gave a clean performance. Excellent dancing in the Russian Dance sequence, Zachary Faruque and Steven McRae were wonderful. Close to finishing this sequence, McRae skidded on his front on stage as the other dancers finished above him. One was worried that he may skidded into the pit. Isabel McMeekan replaced Gillian Revie as the Rose Fairy. The former gave a safe and clean performance. Amongst her escorts, Ricardo Cervera, Kenta Kura and Martin Harvey demonstrated amazing batteries and fantastic jumps.
Curtain Call from left: Natasha Oughtred, Christopher Saunders, Laura Morera and Viacheslav Samodurov [photo by Celine Tan]
In the Grand Pas de Deux, Laura Morera’s Sugar Plum Fairy was partnered by
Viacheslav Samodurov, who was in place for an injured Yohei Sasaki. Being partnered by a different partner, Samodurov played safe with the supported pirouettes, by pedaling Morera ever so slowly. For one who have seen Morera’s style of dancing, one would expect electrifying and sharp turns from this petit ballerina. Apart from the pirouettes, he gave her an assuring support throughout the pas de deux.
His solo and coda exhibited his strength and what great things he can do with his jumps and tour en l’air, however he was not on time with the music, or rather, all these over-spilling of fanciful stuff did not seemed to fit the music. It was almost putting a Don Quixote’s solo to a Giselle Act 1 solo.
Morera’s solo was clean and neat, very safe, but nothing as wonderful as her Princess Florine from The Sleeping Beauty. Her coda was clean and crisp with her sharp and definite fouettes, ending with a delightful finish.


Post a Comment

<< Home