Long Island Ballet Theatre’s production of its 33rd annual “The Nutcracker” is a magical and colourful show with lovely young dancers, beautiful costumes and a fascinating set.
The Tchaikovsky’s 1892 classic ballet, choreographed by Artistic Directors Jason Summers and Jan Hanniford Goetz, is a pleasant and cheerful way to start the Christmas season.
During the two acts of the show we can live the timeless “Nutcracker and the Mouseking” by Ernst T. A. Hoffman, narrated by the warm voice of Warren Schein.
The show opened at the Stahlbaum’s home on Christmas Eve, where Uncle Drosselmeier (Antonio Fini) gave to his niece, Clara (Kaitlyn Petkus), a wooden Nutcracker. Her brother Fritz (Lily Greif) was so jealous that he broke the sister’s present. Even the Uncle’s sorcery couldn’t fix that, or could it?
Here we can notice the kids performance abilities as they radiates childish innocence, as when Mrs. Petkus cries to her broken doll. We can also appreciate the evident dance and acting incredible skills of Mr. Fini, embodying the mysterious and powerful figure of Herr Drosselmeier.
What ensued was a nightmare with an incredibly dramatic battle between giant mice and toy soldiers, with the Nutcracker become a real Prince (Antonio Cangiano). The scene follows the elegant fight of Mr. Cangiano against the rats, until he defeats the Mouse King (Stephen Albright) with Clara’s help.
A magical journey through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of the Sweets opened the second act.
We can see a gentle Snow Cavalier (Alessio Crognale) dancing with elegance a delicate pas-des-deux with the graceful Queen of the Snow (Teryn Colmery).
Then a succession of dance performances began to entertain Clara and Fritz.
The beautiful Sugar-plum Fairy (Lauren Mead) dancing with the Angels on the Tchaikovsky’s charming masterpiece.
From the lively Chocolate Spanish Dance (Casey Noble and Samantha Randall), to the winding movements of the Arabian Girl (Samantha Perillie) and the traditional Oriental Tea Dance (Adelaide Phillips, Ava Tsolis, Hailey J. Rosato).
Mr. Cangiano again playing the Russian Doll with pure strength, kicking-out both legs at once, with the Trepac from Russia corps.
The technique and the control of the movements of Antonio Decicco have made the Sweet and Delicious Marzipan a delightful and elegant performance with Ms. Perillie and Ms. Phillips.
Follows a Confectionary Boquet of the wonderful Waltz of the Flowers with Ms. Mead playing the Dew Drop Fairy with pure joy, moving lightly across the stage with lovely dips and twirls.
Was it all just a dream? Perhaps. Yet watch closely, and you may believe in magic!
Now everyone comes togheter for the final ensemble in a happy and joyful time to say goodbye.
Helen M. Scott does a wonderful job as Set Designer, giving a beginning backdrop as a warm living room with a lighted Christmas tree and a big grandfather clock;
passing through a winter landscape with snow-covered trees, to the sweet and bright final scene with tall lollipops and candy cane wallpapers.
Lighting and Technical Director Sean Perry gives us the right mood for every scene, like the darkness when Mr. Dosselmeier appears at the party, to increase the sense of mistery;
the pink lights during the Flowers’ dance or the quick flashes during the Battle.
Mr. Summer and Jan H. Goetz have done a terrific job as Choreographers, the dancers easily navigate the stage and seem to be constantly moving, perfectly dancing the Tchaikovsky’s music.
Everything for an amazing, family-friendly and magical show that I hope to see again next Christmas.