Stars: Mary Costa, Bill Shirley, Eleanor Audley, Verna Felton, Barbara Luddy
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Rating: G (General Audience)
Runtime: 75 minutes
This ballet may be Tchaikovsky's grandest achievement, The Nutcracker's eternal popularity notwithstanding. And when in the hands (and feet!) of the Royal Ballet, whose superlative 1994 production has been taped for posterity, the composer's singular genius for dance becomes palpable to even the most casual viewers. With choreography by Marius Petipa (who updates Kenneth Macmillan's and Anthony Dowell's work from earlier stagings) and with Dowell's lovely production, the Royal Ballet demonstrates yet again its preeminence in the world of ballet. Viviana Durante dances the princess with otherworldly grace and fluidity, and her partner Zoltan Solymosi's prince is impossibly agile and equally graceful. Dowell even contributes wonderful comic relief as the evil fairy. Barry Wordsworth and the Royal Orchestra do Tchaikovsky's beautiful score, and the remarkable dancers, justice. A ballet company at its considerable performing peak has been preserved for all. --Kevin Filipski
Oh come now Prince Philip. Why so melancholy? A glorious future lies before you - you, the destined hero, of a charming fairy tale come true. Behold - King Stephan's castle. And in yonder top most tower, dreaming of her true love, the Princess Aurora. But see the gracious whim of fate - why, 'tis the self-same peasant maid, who won the heart of our noble prince but yesterday. She is indeed, most wondrous fair. Gold of sunshine in her hair, lips that shame the red red rose. In ageless sleep, she finds repose. The years roll by, but a a hundred years to a steadfast heart, are but a day. And now, the gates of a dungeon part, and our prince is free to go his way. Off he rides, on his noble steed, a valiant figure, straight and tall! To wake his love with "loves' first kiss"! And prove that "true love" conquers all! AHAHAHAHAHA!