Tinkering with 150 year old tradition… Moscow Ballet introduces magic, new costumes and dramatic depth to Great Russian Nutcracker

November 21, 2013  |  By Moscow Ballet

(Berkshires, MANov 21, 2013 – Moscow Ballet takes 150 year Nutcracker tradition to a new level incorporating props, costumes, and a new level of dramatic depth to the 21 year old Great Russian Nutcracker. The highly skilled Vaganova-trained dancers are introduced to “Broadway moves” on the 2013 tour by British born actor and veteran Broadway director James Warwick

Moscow Ballet producers brought Warwick to the company to develop motivation of the dancer/actors. Warwick works with Moscow Ballet’s East and West companies on motivation and using props designed by Resident Designer Arthur Oliver. Oliver traveled to St Petersburg in March to oversee the production of 200 costumes and several new props of his design. The new props include a “Magic Table” for Uncle Drosselmeyer, 5 ft tall pile of “teetering presents” for Christmas party scene and two 6ft tall “Matrushka Dolls” which reveal Drosselmeyer’s magic dolls for party guests.  American Shakespearean designer Oliver also brings innovation to the production through a blend of imaginative ideas using traditional methods from Russia. Oliver states, “The mix of new requests from the producers and the 300 year theatrical tradition of the Russians, creates great new work. The Russians throw themselves into the challenge with superb results.”  Moscow Ballet’s company of 40 dancers on the East and on the West performs Olympic-worthy leaps in the holiday performance for families with magical toys, falling snow and a growing Christmas tree. The tour travels to 77 cities from November 8 to December 30 in Canada and the U.S. (See schedule below) Go to www.nutcracker.com for complete tour and company information.

James WarwickBritish born actor best known for his roles in London's West End, as King Arthur in the national US tour ofCamelot and as director for New York's Broadway theatre,works with Moscow Ballet company in character development and use of new props from a Broadway stage perspective. Warwick’s respected acting and directing skills will be applied to develop select scenes and new props. An award winning theatre director, with credits from major theatres across the US, Warwickrecently returned from running Theatre of Arts, College for the Contemporary Actor in Hollywood CA, and now resumes his freelance theatre directing career, based in Berkshire County MA.

Arthur Oliver, Moscow Ballet resident costume and prop designer for 70+ city North American tours, features new costumes and props for the 2013 tour of the Great Russian Nutcracker. In 2010 Oliver designed the suite of costumes for Moscow Ballet’s production of Romeo and Juliet. And in 2013 he produced a complete new wardrobe for the Great Russian Nutcracker – a total of about 200 new pieces. Oliver creates his designs in the US and oversees their production in a costume shop that embraces the oldest Russian costume traditions and expertise in St Petersburg, Russia.

Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker is comprised of award-winning principals and corps de ballet who perform Olympic-worthy leaps, lifts and pirouettes in the classic holiday ballet.  To the delight of audiences of all ages, the artists bring humor, charm, athletic prowess and Russian flair to Tchaikovsky’s timeless score. The ballet dramatizes the traditional story of Masha meeting her “Prince” and, exclusive to Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker, adds a tribute to world peace as well.  The “Dove of Peace,” for which 2 dancers become one bird with a 20 foot wingspan, escorts Masha and Prince to the “Land of Peace and Harmony” where ambassadors from Hispanic, African, Russian, Asian, and European heritages entertain and offer symbolic gifts in the form of playful silk puppets. The 2013 production includes 200 all new, hand-embellished costumes designed by Shakespearean expert Arthur Oliver and created in St Petersburg’s oldest theatrical costume shop.  Celebrate the beauty of the holidays and the best of Russian ballet in one grand production of Moscow Ballet’sGreat Russian Nutcracker!www.nutcracker.com