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Review for ‘The Nutcracker’ by De Braam Academy at Farlington School

Review for ‘The Nutcracker’ by De Braam Academy at Farlington School
Lucy Cooper
From the first notes of the score for ‘The Nutcracker’ Ballet by Tchaikovsky, the audience was transported by this beautifully interpreted story.

Street children enviously watch arrangements for the Christmas party until they are shooed away by the maids. Inside, guests arrive, including Uncle Drosselmeyer who gives Clara a strange Nutcracker doll.

Natasha Pennington, dancing exquisitely on pointe, was born to play Clara. Rosie Pitts-Tucker was splendid as Clara’s jealous brother, Fritz. Amelie Holloway, Amy Crouch, Lucia Rodrigues-Cano and Kitty Sheppard danced impressively accomplished robotic movements as mechanical dolls. Grandpa and Grandma, played by Millie and Ella Jones, continue the dancing with their comic turn until everyone leaves and Millie Jewry, the kindly mother, ushers Clara and Fritz to bed.

Prep 1 and 2 children obviously enjoyed their scurrying movements as the Mice. At midnight, the Spirit of the Night, beautifully danced by Lauren Bude, summons her Night Shadows and Clara is transported to a fantasy world where her Nutcracker comes to life.

Kira Hyde as the Nutcracker was superb. Her dancing is technically excellent, and she played the part of supporting partner with grace and charm.

The Snow Queen, danced with joyful abandon by Millie Jones, leads Clara and the Nutcracker through Snowflakes to the Land of Sweets where Angels, whirling Prep 3s and 5s, introduce them to the Sugar Plum Fairy, ably danced on pointe by a poised Alberta Dale.

A variety of sweets dancing in different styles are introduced, including ‘Turkish Delight’- a very flexible trio: Lilyella Paul, Naomi Milner-Smith and Jemyma Dawson-Cantelo.

Clara awakes under the Christmas tree wondering if it was all a dream.
Natalie van de Braam has surpassed herself. Costumes were stunning and the choreography, set and lighting added to the professional whole. To manage a cast of over fifty pupils, helped by an extremely able backstage team, is impressive and this ballet will provide memories for all involved for years to come.

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