You can’t get much more festive than ‘The Nutcracker’. Tchaikovsky’s enchanting music and the fairytale story of Marie’s wooden nutcracker doll turning into a prince capture that childish anticipation of Christmas Eve.
And this two-act ballet, recorded live at the Bolshoi theatre in Moscow is a treat. It’s not quite the same as actually going to the ballet, but the usual theatre preamble is all there: the seats fill up, smartly dressed kids goof around and couples take selfies in the grand auditorium. Once the dancing starts the camera has a much better view than even the best seats in the house – it’s everything you don’t know you’re missing when you’re squinting from the nosebleed section.
The camera gets so close you can see the swish of violin bows and hear the pad of ballet pumps on the polished stage. There’s nothing flashy or especially slick about this recording. It is what it is: brilliant ballet, frothy tutus and a classic Christmas tale.