The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it comes to Joburg


The Nutcracker as you’ve never seen it comes to Joburg

It's the first time the much-loved ballet has been translated into a theatrical circus

Sara Pearce

“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
This Festive Season, Sandton City is taking kids and adults alike on a whimsical theatrical adventure with The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus.
Billed to be mysterious and magical, with a menagerie of fun and fantastical creatures, The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus is a fairytale fit for the family, set in a spectacular circus tent in the Santon City Centre Court.
An ensemble of acclaimed artists will perform in an original theatrical circus rooted in vintage European history and set just outside the Black Forest in southwest Germany, known for its dense evergreen forests and picturesque villages.
Featuring a rich tapestry of magic and interactive illusion, this is the first time that The Nutcracker ballet has been translated into a theatrical circus.
Celebrated for his originality and cutting-edge creativity, The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus is the brainchild of SA director and designer Andrew Botha, who has conceptualised everything from the costumes to the colours, creating every element from scratch.
From the whimsical wonderland created by a scenic artist to the special effects costumes crafted by the original Opera House Costumery, the visual feast features fabric designed especially for this production.
Weird and wonderful, The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus pairs the artistry of storytelling with impressive physical theatre, aerobatics and a handful of ballet classics performed by South African soloists to a musical suite written by film and television composer Nikki Saks, based on Tchaikovsky’s original score.
Both quirky and classical, the circus is set in an unusual rotunda, but will feature some recognisable highlights such as The Nutcracker Pas De Deux, danced by the Sugar Plum Fairy and Prince Coqueluche.
Acclaimed choreographer David Gouldie, with his extensive experience across the SA theatrical landscape, brings 38 characters to life through the magic and mastery of movement to inspire local and international audiences with everything from acrobatics to arabesque.
The role of the ringmaster Pytor will be played by award-winning physical performer Craig Morris with lead female dancer Rachel Abrahams, who has performed with various companies as a soloist in Cinderella, Coppélia and Giselle the Ballet, and lead male dancer Casey Swales, who has performed with various companies as a soloist, including the title role in The Nutcracker.
They will be supported by an ensemble including Grace Stapelberg, Hardy Keeve, Letsedi Motladi, Lloyd van Straten and Bafikile Sedibe.
Produced by Lyall Ramsden, The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus will enchant audiences from December 12 to January 6, with four performances each day. There will be no performances on Christmas Day, Boxing Day or New Year’s Day.
Tickets are available from Ticketpro for R15 and at the door for R20, with all proceeds going to charity.
Preston Gaddy, general manager of Sandton City, explains the vision behind the mall’s presentation of The Nutcracker’s Winter Circus: “The festive season is Sandton City’s busiest period and, with schools breaking up and families preparing for the holidays, we wanted to share in the joy of Christmas with a festive line-up that's nothing short of magical!”

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