Mariinsky Theatre: The Nutcracker In 3D

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With a host of top Tchaikovsky tunes, a dash of magic, some scary giant rats and decent roles for kids, ‘The Nutcracker’ has long been a seasonal ballet treat for the family. This 3D recording of last year’s staging at St Petersburg’s historic Mariinsky Theatre has ‘Christmas outing’ written all over it, but while the company’s well-drilled dancers and conductor Valery Gergiev’s forceful orchestra deliver, the 3D aspect is a mixed bag. The ballet’s scatty storyline follows a lavish Yuletide gathering with an extended dream sequence where pretty much everyone gets to do a turn, and the cast’s effortless athleticism keeps us engaged, especially when leading light Alina Somova struts her princessy stuff. On the downside, the production (originating from 1954) looks dowdy compared to today’s hi-tech glitz, and the 3D visuals, while offering marginally improved depth perspective on the action, darken the colours considerably, leaving an otherwise fairly splendid ‘Nutcracker’ minus a certain sparkle. 

By: Trevor Johnston

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Release details

Rated: E
Release date: Sunday December 30 2012
Duration: 105 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Andreas Morell
Cast: Alina Somova
Vladimir Cosma

Average User Rating

1.3 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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The reviewer is too kind about the 3D. It many places it is poor and with most of the shots when there is depth the rear has that halo you got with 1950's 3D films. The production is very staid and it looks like a chocolate box view of the ballet. The choreography needs some updating as does the costumes and staging. Like a BMW car it does the job efficiently but with no real emotion. It is difficult to warm to the Princess who looks like she is going through the motions rather than living the part. The early dances in Act 3 are rather mundane and it is only during the famous waltz of the flowers that the production and 3D comes alive. I have seen much better Nutcrackers than this and overall it is a disappointment. A pretty looking disappointment but still a disappointment. Really worth no more than 5 out of 10. Not quite worth 3 stars.