Creative Commons Licence
"Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker" exclaims the Royal Ballet's trailer. The Birmingham Royal Ballet and English National Ballet seem to agree for they are staging the ballet too (see The Good Nutcracker Guide 31 Oct 2016). There are, of course, alternatives. The Royal Ballet itself is staging The Sleeping Beauty from today as well as The Nutcracker on other days and there is also The Red Shoes at Sadler's Wells which I reviewed when it was at the Lowry in the metropolitan borough of Salford in the county of Greater Manchester (see Red Shoes Bourne Again 3 Dec 2016) and The Red Shoes Second Time Round 4 Dec 2016).
Outside London Scottish Ballet are dancing Hansel and Gretel in Edinburgh which will be wending its way around Scotland early in the New Year before making an appearance in Newcastle where I hope to see it and Belfast in February. I saw the ballet in 2013 and enjoyed it very much (see Scottish Ballet's Hansel and Gretel 23 Dec 2013). Elsewhere in England Northern Ballet's Beauty and the Beast is in Leeds (see Much Less Beastly - Indeed Rather Beautiful 18 Dec 2016) and Ballet Theatre UK will resume their tour of England with Romeo and Juliet after Christmas.
From my Pennine eyrie just to the east of Manchester the great continental cities are nearly as accessible as London and in many cases rather less expensive when you get there. I have already expressed the view that the Dutch National Ballet's Coppelia at the Music Theatre in Amsterdam is the best Christmas show within reasonable travelling distance of Manchester (see Brandsen's Coppelia 12 Dec 2016 and Pictures of Coppelia 15 Dec 2016).
Both the Bolshoi and the Mariinsky are staging The Nutcracker over the Christmas and New Year holiday season (see the Bolshoi's Schedule of Performances and the Mariinsky Theatre's Playbill) but the Royal Danish Ballet offer Christopher Wheeldon's Alices Adventures in Wonderland, the Paris Opera Jiri Kylian at the Garnier and Nureyev's Swan Lake at the Bastille, the Stuttgart Ballet Don Quixote and La Scala Macmillan's Romeo and Juliet.
Two other bits of news.
Our contributor Mel Wong who has spent the last 15 months in Hungary is now back in the UK - for the time being at any rate. She is working on an article on Ballet Eifman which we look forward to reading.
In a circular announcing that today is the fifth anniversary of the formation of BalletcoForum, Simonetta Dixon of that forum wrote proudly that "a real community has been established" and "friendships have been forged through BalletcoForum." I can certainly attest to that. Mel is one of those I met in that way. Linda Morris is another. Aileen is a third. Helen or Don Q Fan is one more. Michelle Richer yet another. And, of course, last but not least, Janet McNulty. There are several others who are friends on Facebook and followers on twitter. Today also happens to be the third anniversary of my subscribing to the forum. Although I have had the odd run-in with a moderator and a heated exchange of views with subscribers from time to time I always read my daily email from BalletcoForum with interest. Well done them and long may they continue.
Wishing all my readers around the world a merry Christmas and happy New Year.