The Nutcracker by Vainonen after Petipa and Ivanov, music by Tchaikovsky
Alina Somova (Masha the Princess), Vladimir Shklyarov (The Nutcracker Prince), Alexandra Korshunova (Masha)... – Mariinsky Theater Ballet Company
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Simon Virsaladze — Set designer
Alina Somova — Masha the Princess
Vladimir Shklyarov — The Nutcracker Prince
Alexandra Korshunova — Masha
Vladimir Ponomaryov — Stahlbaum
Alexandra Gronskaya — Stahlbaum's wife
Alena Mashintseva — Luisa
Pavel Miheyev — Franz
Fyodor Lopukhov — Drosselmeyer
Lira Khuslamova — The Grandmother
Stanislav Burov — The Grandfather
Valeria Karpina — The Nanny
Pavel Miheyev — The Nutcracker
Konstantin Ivkin — Clown
Yana Selina — Doll
Soslan Kulaev — The Mouse King
A classic among classics, Tchaikovsky’s fantastical masterpiece is presented here with Vainonen's choreography, the version most popular in Russia. The Étoile dancers Alina Somova and Vladimir Shklyarov light up a stage decked in scenery designed by Simon Virsaladze, accompanied the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra led by the legendary maestro Valery Gergiev.
The story goes that Petipa and Tchaikovsky met at the Mariinsky Theatre during a performance of Minkus and Petipa’s ballet La Bayadère. When Petipa walked on stage for the curtain call, he turned toward the Tchaikovksy’s box and exclaimed, “If only the greatest Russian composer could write for our theater!” Sleeping Beauty (1890), The Nutcracker (1892), and Swan Lake (1895) were the result of the superb artistic partnership that followed.
Petipa’s libretto was inspired by Alexandre Dumas’s French version of the tale by E.T.A. Hoffmann’s The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. In 1934, Vainonen created a new choreography that came to be considered the epitome of classical ballet. Vainonen's choreography is performed here by the prestigious Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra and Ballet.
Photo: © Valentin Baranovsky 2012