By BRUCE DENNILL
The Nutcracker / Joburg Ballet / The Mandela, Joburg Theatre, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
The Nutcracker remains a nostalgic favourite for ballet audiences all over the world, being one of the most likely ballets for young children to be introduced to early on on account of its kid-friendly themes – Christmas, toys and fairies, rather than dying waterfowl, nobles in comas or warring Italian families.
For Joburg Ballet’s new production, there was new input in the form of choreography from Angela Malan (a principal dancer with the South African Ballet Theatre, the previous incarnation of Joburg Ballet), new sets and lighting from Wilhelm Disbergen and, most notably, the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Eddie Clayton, to play Tchaikovsky’s famous score live.
The latter facet certainly improves on the cheaper backing track option from both a sonic perspective – oh, the bassoon in The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy! – and in terms of…
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