Tchaikovsky - Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! / Matthew Bourne, Anthony Ward (2005)
One of his earliest pieces of choreography, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker
is also one of his most charming and imaginative. Moving the Christmas party from a comfortable middle-class home to a Dickensian orphanage whose proprietors starve their wards to spoil their own children, it then shifts to a wonderland where sweets and sugar are a none-too-subtle metaphor for sexual awakening. In both worlds, Clara (Etta Murfitt) has to struggle to be a heroine, or even a participant, in her own story and her struggle for the muscular, sexy Alan Vincent with her bitchy rival Sugar (Soranne Curtin) is not resolved until the last moments of the ballet.
Along the way, Bourne finds charming and sexy ways to make all of the well-known genre moments of the score fresh and new--the Chinese dancers are a bunch of daffy marshmallow girls in pink, for example, whose dance is all strutting cuteness. There is a truly stunning transformation scene at the beginning of the waltz, which like much else in the score becomes a complex ensemble in which all the character dancers have their own things to do. Bourne's Nutcracker has become a popular favorite, and deservedly so. The Royal Philharmonic eloquently performas the score. --Roz Kaveney
Matthew Bourne's stunning production of Nutcracker! has broken all box office records during its season at Sadler's Wells and subsequent national tour. This delicious production is full of his trademark style wit, pathos and theatrical magic. Nutcracker! follows Clara's journey from a bleak Christmas Eve at Dr. Dross' Orphanage, through a shimmering wonderland to the spectacular candy folk of Sweetieland.
Tchaikovsky's much-loved score and Olivier award winning designer Anthony Ward's stunning sets and costumes with sizzling choreography. Promising a fresh serving of the traditional Christmas far, Matthew Bourne's Nutcracker! is a delightful feast for all of the family. Matthew Bourne has achieved worldwide artistic and popular success with his imaginative new versions of classical ballets such as Swan Lake, Cinderella & The Car Man.
- Actors: Scott Ambler, Emily Piercy, Saranne Curtin, Ewan Wardrop, Etta Murfitt
- Directors: Ross MacGibbon
- Producers: Mark Wells, Peter Maniura, Phil Jowett
- Format: Classical, Color, DVD, NTSC
- Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (PCM Stereo)
- Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
- Number of discs: 1
- Rated: NR (Not Rated)
- Studio: Kultur Video
- DVD Release Date: September 27, 2005
- Run Time: 88 minutes