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Posted on: Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The Nutcracker at the State Theatre in Pretoria from 19 November to 19 December

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The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

I’m not sure it would be Christmas without The Nutcracker… I feel it is one of those shows that warms your heart and leaves you with a little bit of magic. The first performance of the Nutcracker was in 1892 at the Imperial Maryinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Russia. This year the SA Ballet Theatre in conjunction with the SA State Theatre brings it to audiences on the opera stage from Friday 19 to Sunday 19 December 2010.

Since the first performance many, many years ago this production has become synonymous with the festive season. If you haven’t seen it you may be asking yourself why. Let me tell you a little bit about the story …

A young girl, Clara, is given a wooden nutcracker doll at a Christmas party. This doll comes alive, turning into a dashing young prince. He takes Clara on a whirlwind of magical adventures – she is taken to the Land of Snow and Kingdom of Sweets (any young childs fantasy) which is the home of the Sugar Plum Fairy. All through the journey Clara meets a variety of interesting characters and a lovely story unfolds. You even have a battle to look forward to between the Nutcracker Prince and the King of the Rats.

The Nutcracker

The Nutcracker

The ballet is set to the music of Tchaikovsky, which has become an extremely popular score. Even if you are not familiar with the ballet you will more than likely recognise the dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, which is one role I longed to dance when I was a little ballerina. The ballet dancers will be accompanied by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Allan Stephenson.

This year you are in for a treat as international guest artist Juan Pablo Ledo has been cast in the lead role dancing with SA Ballet Theatre stars Anya Carstens and Burnise Silvius. Ledo is a principal dancer at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires and has performed all around the world in roles Coppélia, Spartacus, Romeo and Juliet and La Sylphide. However Ledo will only be performing four times, so you will need to book your tickets for the following shows if you’d like to see him perform. Friday 3 December at 20h00, Sunday 5 December at 15h00, Friday 10 December 20h00 and Sunday 12 December at 15h00.

Tickets can be booked from Computicket and range from R45 to R120 per person, so you can treat the whole family to this festive extravaganza. Show times are 15h00, 19h30 or 20h00 and run from Thursdays to Sundays.

If you’re already a Nutcracker fan then it shouldn’t be hard to convince you to see this show, but if you aren’t one yet I strongly urge you to go and watch this magical ballet and be transported into a fantasy journey for a few hours told to you through the language of dance and beautiful music… When you see it I’m sure you’ll agree it should become a new festive season tradition for you and your family!

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Tania Stephenson


Tania loves to cook and create magic in the kitchen for family and friends (or even just herself). Be it finding a new recipe or making a tried and tested dish from her recipe folder - the kitchen is her sanctuary. Find her hanging out with friends round the braai or curled up on the couch reading the latest crime drama. With a spring in her step and a song in her heart you’ll find her supporting local artists in theatre, music and dance – from a hip hop competition or the latest musical on stage at Artscape in Cape Town. Enjoying all things culture she likes to share her experiences and delights with those around her.

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