Nutcracker Suite / Divertissements

Cork City Ballet
Cork Opera House

9th November 2005





Cork City Ballet presented The Nutcracker Suite and Divertissements like elaborately wrapped gifts, where some dances caught more attention than others. The programme passed as quickly as Christmas morning, with favourites from the Nutcracker, Don Quixote and Swan Lake - as well as Krzysztof Pastor's In Light and Shadow, Patricia Crosbie's Sisters and Judith Sibley's Bend Down Low.

Pastor's In Light and Shadow felt like it was danced under moonlight. Marie Lindqvist, guest artist from the Royal Swedish Ballet, and Dragos Mihalcea, from the Dutch National Ballet, alternated between lingering like lovers and whisking each other into quickly changing positions. Bathed in purple light, they moved fluidly to Bach's Goldberg Variations.

Chika Temma and Victor Povavarov excelled in excerpts from Don Quixote. She executed the show-stopping fouette turns with such precision she could have been balancing on the head of a pin, and he provided a grounding force to her energy.

During the Nutcracker Suite, the couples danced with the confidence that comes with having complete trust in your partner, with the rest of the company joining them in front of a backdrop of candy canes and gumdrops, wearing freshly starched tutus. In the Arabian dance, Icleiber Klaus lifted Sibley overhead in a series of provocative upside-down splits, and Lindqvist and Mihalcea sparkled in a well-executed Grand Pas de deux.

The most surprising dancing came during Waltz of the Flowers, the longest divertissement in the Nutcracker, and often the least interesting. Alan Foley and Monica Loughman led the waltz in a series of twists, turns and asymmetrical patterns, until the lengthy dance became an enthusiastic performance. The corps de ballet members masked their uneven technical abilities with a respect for what they were doing so that their hard work and pride made the dancing all the more enjoyable.

© The Irish Times