Chichester Festival Theatre starts the New Year in style with a visit from Moscow City Ballet.
After performances of Giselle on Tuesday and Wednesday, they round the week off with The Nutcracker (Thursday, January 8, to Sunday, January 11, Thursday to Saturday evenings 7.30pm, Saturday matinee 2.30pm, Sunday matinee 3pm; tickets 01243 781312).
Promoter Patricia Murray-Bett said: “In the past few years the company has expanded due to increased demand for appearances in Eastern Europe and internationally. Moscow City Ballet and Moscow City Ballet Europe rank among Russia’s most successful and extensive touring ballet companies.
“Moscow City Ballet is an eternal favourite in the UK and Moscow City Ballet Europe annually play arenas in Poland with their magical Nutcracker. The entire company enjoys great popularity in Moscow. The audience can not only marvel at the perfection of its corps de ballet but witness the superb dexterity, grace and vitality of the principal dancers from this young and talented cast.”
Patricia added: “The demand for Moscow City Ballet to perform in more cities has been phenomenal. This will certainly be our biggest tour to date. I think audiences truly appreciate the athleticism and skill of the young dancers; as well as being technically impeccable, they act and immerse themselves in their roles.”
Founded in 1988 by Victor Smirnov-Golovanov, who died in 2013 after a long battle with cancer, Moscow City Ballet remains in the hands of his wife Ludmila Neroubashchenko, who has been leading the ballet company for the past few years, remaining faithful to Victor’s choreography and productions
“The Nutcracker is complete with stunning costumes, sumptuous sets and Tchaikovsky’s masterpiece score,” Patricia said. “This enchanting ballet tells the story of Clara’s magical adventure with her Nutcracker Prince, including a visit to the exquisite Land of Flowers and the beautiful Flower Fairy, and is a real festive treat.”
Among the company is 26-year-old Lilia Oryekhova who graduated from the Vladimir Pisarev Choreographic school in Donetsk and has been working with MCB since 2008.
She said: “I am grateful to my fate, that I am working in MCB and that the life has given me this opportunity to perform in such magnificent ballets.”
The Nutcracker remains particularly special: “For me each performance is a great responsibility. Surely, The Nutcracker is one of the most well-known and also one of my favourite ones. I dreamed from my childhood to perform in it.
“I think that the performance created in Russia is much closer for the Russian artists and they can translate the style of the ballet, and most importantly to express its soul.
“MCB’s The Nutcracker is first and foremost the fusion of drama, choreography and music. This production includes the Land of Flowers and the Flower Fairy, a part which I love to dance. The ballet with the fun costumes, instantly recognisable music and Christmas scenes marks the start of the festive period for me. It’s a really fun ballet to perform. The production is so dynamic that it grabs the attention from the very start and keeps it to the very end.
“Victor Smirnov-Golovanov had a very individual take on The Nutcracker. He always tried to keep the traditions of the Russian ballet tradition but also was not afraid to add new elements to the choreography.”