Two dancers dance on stage in perfect rhythm, both holding a 10-foot wing.
Moving together, they eventually create one bird with a 20-foot wing span.
In the 20 years the Moscow Ballet has performed the “Great Russian Nutcracker,” this is a new twist to the show that mesmerizes the audience, said Sally Michael Keyes, national director of public relations.
“They loved it,” she said. “We had one audience member who just started crying. It was just beautiful.”
A holiday favorite, the “Great Russian Nutcracker” is celebrating 20 years of touring North America. It will make a stop at West Virginia University at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13.
In 1993, Stanislav Vlasov choreographed and directed the six-week tour, which was led by principal ballerina Lillia Sabitova. Reminiscent of the 1950s, the scene of the play with the bird was included in the 1993 tour in a slightly different performance.
Even though there is new choreography in the 2012 show, it’s inspired by Vlasov’s vision years ago.
“It’s inspired by old choreography, and it’s a way of honoring him,” Keyes said. “Our production, instead of going back to the traditional land of sweets, they go to the land of peace and harmony.”
Another special addition to this year’s show is a Christmas tree that grows to seven stories tall, along with a new number, “Dove of Peace,” performed by two dancers. Towering silk puppets, 200 costumes and nine hand-painted backdrops will light up the stage and mesmerize what is expected to be a sold-out event.
According to information provided by Keyes, the story goes like this:
Behind the curtains for the opening scene will be the Moscow skyline and guests arriving for a Christmas Eve party. Masha, her little brother Fritz and their parents are celebrating the holiday with their loved ones from around the world when suddenly the mysterious godfather Uncle Drosselmeyer arrives with a large bag of Christmas gifts for all the children.
But these are anything but ordinary gifts. Every child at the party, other than Masha, is given a Christmas gift. Later she approaches her godfather, asking where her Christmas gift was. Drosselmeyer gives her a nutcracker. Jealous, Fritz breaks the nutcracker.
Later that night, her godfather repairs it, but as the clock strikes midnight, something happens in Masha’s bedroom. The sound of mice under her bed resonates throughout her room. Trying to escape from the mice, she is stopped and wonders if she is still stuck in a dream.
Other things happen in the house at that point as well. Growing to an enormous size in just seconds, the Christmas tree fills the room and the nutcracker comes to life.
In Act II, Masha and her Nutcracker Prince arrive in the “Land of Peace and Harmony” instead of the “Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and the Sugar Plum Fairy is replaced by the “Dove of Peace.” Giraffes, birds, lions and other animals will be on the backdrop of the scene.
Keyes said the anniversary performance will feature two new faces: International Ballet Competition (IBC) medalist Karyna Shatkovskaya as Masha (also known as Clara) and Vladimir Tkachenko as the Nutcracker Prince.
An honor graduate of the Perm Choreographic School, Tkachenko has toured to Asia, Europe, Africa and South America.
Debuting with Moscow Ballet in 2011, Shatkovskaya is a multiple award-winning soloist who has performed in several lead roles in some of ballet’s well-known performances. While in Kazakhstan in 2009, she was recognized with an award in the IBC and became the State Prize Winner in 2010.
Along with 40 other dancers, Shatkovskaya and Tkachenko will perform in traditional Russian classical dance. Many of the performers are also couples, which adds a special element to the show.
“Some of the dancers are married and love each other very much, and you sense that,” Keyes said. “It’s really lovely.”
Keyes said music from Tchaikovsky further adds to the beauty of it.
“Tchaikovsky’s music is beautiful all the time, and then when we take the ‘Nutcracker’ and take the spirit of the season, which is the season of giving and loving each other, it’s just kind of a win-win,” Keyes said. “Everybody can appreciate that, from the smallest 5-year-old to the 95-year-old person.”
Tickets range from $46 to $66 and can be purchased at the WVU Mountainlair and Creative Arts Center. WVU student tickets are $28. Tickets may also be purchased online at ticketmaster.com, or by calling 304-293-SHOW or 800-745-3000.
Email Nicole Lemal at email@example.com.
Two dancers dance on stage in perfect rhythm, both holding a 10-foot wing.
‘Guardians’ powered by love of raccoons and space opera
About midway through Marvel’s new interstellar adventure “Guardians of the Galaxy,” David Bowie’s “Moonage Daydream” plays over a shot of a ramshackle spaceship traveling toward a mining colony called Knowhere.
The planet is actually the severed head of a fallen titan (or deity) where workers of alien races, some with candy-colored skin, collect valuable bone and fluid to ship to the outer reaches of the cosmos.
Morgantown revving up for MountainFest
Around 60,000 guests will flood into the Morgantown area July 23-27 for the 10th anniversary of MountainFest.
The motorcycle-themed event will offer live music from two stages, two stunt team demonstrations, a vintage car show, custom bike builders, and around 80 vendors that offer motorcycle memorabilia, clothing, crafts and 14 different food options.
Keaton clicks with Douglas, ‘And So It Goes’
Two old pros show the kids how chemistry works in a romantic comedy in “And So It Goes,” a love-the-last-time-around romp that’ll give its target audience the warm fuzzies.
Diane Keaton dons one stylishly kicky outfit after another — hats included — trills “La di dah,” or words to that effect, and all is well in this high-rent corner of Connecticut, where the perfectly-coiffed Michael Douglas plays her permanently grumpy Realtor neighbor.
Some ‘Abbey’ details to tide you over
American viewers are still a ways off from having the upstairs-downstairs bunch of “Downton Abbey” over as guests in their homes through the telly, but we have some crumpets of information to hold you over before then.
Executive producer Gareth Neame and cast members Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Allen Leech and Joanne Froggatt appeared before reporters as part of PBS’ session at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.
Kids Day is Saturday in Morgantown
On Saturday, a portion of High Street in Morgantown will be closed to traffic to make room for all the kids.
This year’s Kids Day will feature more than 100 activities, including an interactive butterfly exhibit, bounce houses, sand art stations, a model railroad display and much more.
‘The Strain’ offers more gore than story
At the same time “The Strain” was in development, a commercial in heavy rotation showed three catty middle-schoolers stalking a chubby guy on a diet. Whenever he contemplated a calorie-drenched monstrosity, they’d pipe in with a rapid-fire “Ew!” “Seriously?” “So gross ...”
Brooks’ Dublin concerts off; refunds begin
It’s crying time on the Emerald Isle: Country music superstar Garth Brooks issued a statement Monday confirming that his five planned concerts in Dublin next week are scrapped, and that ticket refunds for 400,000 ticket buyers will proceed.
Helping the United Way ... the musical way
Heston Farm Winery and the United Way of Marion County have teamed up for the third year for the Heston Arts and Music Festival.
While the HAM Festival has little to do with meat — although there will be a few ham-themed food options, including “hog wings” — it has a lot to do with the community.
Go ‘Red, White & Boom!’ July 4
Palatine Park will be full of people and patriotism Friday during Fairmont’s “Red, White & Boom!” celebration.
Gates open at 3:30 p.m. and festivities start at 4:15 p.m. with Mama Corn, a bluegrass band from Pennsylvania.
The Marshall Lowry Band, a country and bluegrass trio with members from Fairmont, will take the stage at 5:30 p.m., and country rock singer Katie Ohh will follow at 7 p.m.
The Father of Rock ’n’ Roll
Next weekend, musicians will come to Fairmont to pay tribute to a man considered the father of rock ’n’ roll piano.
The 13th annual Johnnie Johnson Blues & Jazz Festival will be held July 5-6 at Palatine Park.
A Fairmont native, Johnson taught himself to play piano, and his talent led him into a partnership with musician Chuck Berry — Johnson wrote the music for more than 60 Chuck Berry songs but did not receive writing credits.
- More Ticket Headlines
- ‘Guardians’ powered by love of raccoons and space opera