The Nutcracker Suite: Magic with Menace. Versions of the Sugarplum Fairy by the Kirov, Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov, Leslie Collier, Alina Cojocaru, Miyako Yoshida and Maximova and Vasiliev.

 In this season, I should like to celebrate ‘Nutcracker’ and lift the curtain on the Kirov’s ‘Waltz of the Flowers’ (above)

In Vienna the audience hissed at Tchaikovsky’s First Violin Concerto, and a critic was to say, ‘The Russian composer Tchaikovsky is surely no ordinary talent, but rather, an inflated one, obsessed with posturing as a man of genius, and lacking all discrimination and taste […]’.

In his relatively short and troubled life ( May 1840-November 1893), he left ballet the scores for ‘Swan Lake’, ‘The Sleeping Beauty’,   ‘Nutcracker’ and’ Eugene Onegin’.

Gelsey Kirkland and Mikhail Baryshnikov perform for Balanchine’s company, The New York City Ballet. In this, Kirkland does unusual choreography to the Sugar Plum Fairy.

Following are Royal Ballet versions of the Sugar Plum. The first is  Leslie Collier:

The second is Cojocaru:

The Birmingham Royal Ballet presents a similar version with Miyako Yoshida but with some additions including beautiful fouettes :

Here are two Sugar Plums from The Kirov and The Bolshoi:

There is the Grand Pas de Deux  with Maximova and Vasiliev.

There is one last dance from Nutcracker which truly has an old look and one doesn’t see now: it is the Arabian dance performed by Maximova:

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