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The Nutcracker returns to the Birmingham Hippodrome
30 October 2007
Birmingham Royal Balletís spectacular production of The Nutcracker will return to its home theatre in Birmingham from Friday 30 November to Thursday 13 December.
The Company is delighted to announce that the production this year is sponsored by Mitchells & Butler plc and receives additional support from Arts and Business.
The Company's Director Laureate, Sir Peter Wright, created the production for the City of Birmingham in 1990, to thank it for its support and generosity toward the Company following its move from Sadler's Wells in London. The Nutcracker immediately triumphed, establishing itself as the finest on offer throughout the country in the Christmas calendar of entertainment.
It's Christmas Eve and a splendid party is taking place at the Stahlbaumís house. Young Clara receives a beautiful wooden Nutcracker doll from the eccentric magician Drosselmeyer and is enchanted. That night, unable to sleep, Clara creeps downstairs to see her toy. To Claraís amazement on the stroke of midnight the Christmas tree Christmas tree starts growing, she starts shrinking and battles an army of rats and is spirited away to the Land of Snow, the Kingdom of Sweets and the Sugar Plum Fairy.
Based on a tale by Hoffman, the story of The Nutcracker has inspired several choreographers since the first production by Lev Ivanov. The harmonious mix of music, magic and dance has roused the talents of George Balanchine, John Cranko and Rudolf Nureyev.
The enchanting story of Clara's adventures with her Nutcracker doll, Rat King and the Sugar Plum Fairy is an exquisite seasonal feast.
The performance sponsor, Birmingham-based Mitchells & Butlers plc, has a long history of supporting a number of local projects and organisations in the city. Tim Clarke, chief executive, comments: 'Through our sponsorship of the Birmingham Royal Ballet, Mitchells & Butlers continues to play an active community role within Birmingham, helping to promote the culture of the region. We are pleased the sponsorship has secured Arts & Business funding which will support a series of educational dance workshops across the Midlands.'
For further information please contact:
Angela Hughes on 0121 245 3549; E-mail: AngelaHughes@brb.org.uk
Simon Harper on 0121 245 3562; Email: SimonHarper@brb.org.uk
Notes for Editors
Mitchells and Butlers plc and Birmingham Royal Ballet have received an investment from Arts & Business New Partners to develop their creative partnership.
Arts & Business New Partners is funded by Arts Council England and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
THE NUTCRACKER PRODUCTION TRIVIA
∑ Before the curtain goes up on the first performance, hours of work have been undertaken behind the scenes. The sets, props and lights for the show will travel to the Hippodrome in five articulated trucks from Birmingham Royal Ballet stores in Dudley. When the sets arrive work will begin on the 'get-in' and 'fit-up'. This process takes approximately three days. Another two days are usually required for technical and stage rehearsals.
∑ The production has a flying goose that transports Clara to a magical land and it travels 60ft across the stage.
∑ Many tricks and illusions feature in the production and a Magic Circle magician was recruited especially to devise them. Dancers performing the roles of Drosselmeyer and his assistant are sworn to secrecy concerning the tricks.
∑ The Nutcracker features a huge transformation scene where a Christmas tree grows from 12ft to 50 ft and a fireplace grows to fill half of the stage. A crew of around 50 people work backstage on the production and during the transformation scene it is a case of 'all hands on deck'.
∑ 160lbs of flame retardant artificial snow is used in the production which is imported from a specialist company in New York.
∑ The production has over 200 costumes, the preparation of which begins at least six weeks before an opening night. This may involve sewing on sequins, shortening tutus, or letting in or out seams. Several new dancers have joined the Company this year and the costumes may need altering to fit them.
∑ Dancers that take the parts of 'Winds' and 'Snowflakes' in the production coat the visible parts of their body in special silver body paint imported from Germany.
For further press information please contact:
Simon Harper, Media and PR Manager, on 0121 245 3562; Email: SimonHarper@brb.org.uk
or Claire Lishman, Media and PR Officer, on 0121 245 3549 Email: ClaireLishman@brb.org.uk
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