Christmas delights tomorrow night

BALLET Ireland, Ireland’s national ballet company will present the Christmas favourite, ‘The Nutcracker’ in Portlaoise at Dunamaise Arts Centre on Wednesday November 28 as part of a 22 venue tour across Ireland and the UK.

Dancer Melissa Hamilton, a native of County Down and soloist with the Royal Ballet, will dance the role of the Sugar Plum Fairy and will be joined by co-Royal Ballet star, Polish dancer Dawid Trzensimiech.

This Ballet Ireland production features 16 of the top Irish and international dancers who have traveled from as far afield as Japan and Australia to dance with the company. Audiences of all ages will remember the excitement of Christmas and the scent of pine needles as Clara dances on stage. With sets by Zia Holly and costumes by Werner Dittrich, Ballet Ireland’s ‘The Nutcracker’ sparkles with the joy and imagination of a childhood Christmas.

The Nutcracker is an enduring seasonal favourite with appeal for every member of the family, this two-act ballet adapted from ETA Hoffman’s novel, premiered in St Petersburg on December 18 1892 and today is one of the most popular of all ballets. Tchaikovsky’s score has become one of his most famous compositions.

Set on Christmas Eve, after the tree has been admired, presents given out to the children, and everyone gone to bed, little Clara returns to the sitting room to check on a gift broken earlier by her brother - the Nutcracker. As the clock strikes midnight, mice begin to fill the room and the Nutcracker grows to life-size. Clara is thrust into a battle between an army of tin soldiers led by The Nutcracker, and the mice led by the Mouse King. Having overcome the Mouse King, Clara and The Nutcracker, now a Prince, travel to Sugar Plum Fairy’s Land of Sweets.

The National Ballet of Ireland, Ballet Ireland was founded in 1998 and gave its inaugural performances at the Gaiety Theatre, Dublin, in September 1998. The company has mounted twenty three major productions to date and has a very extensive educational and commissioning programme.

Tickets priced at €20 are on sale from or by contacting 057 86 63355.


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