Peter Wright's production of The Nutcracker with The Royal Ballet will be broadcast live to over 900 cinemas this Christmas.
On Thursday 8 December 2022, audiences in 20 countries around the world will be able to watch this well-loved and well-known production but with a cast seen for the first time in cinemas with principal dancer Fumi Kaneko as the Sugar Plum Fairy, and principal William Bracewell as The Prince.
Wright created this Nutcracker in 1984, but it has been substantially reworked since that date, including some major changes before its last outing with an exuberant new Chinese dance and an Arabian Dance that doesn't seem to be set in a harem. These dances disappeared altogether from the reduced ‘Covid version' of 2020, and a spokesperson for the opera house last year said,
The Royal Ballet regularly looks at the classic repertory to ensure these works remain fresh and as inclusive as possible to a broad audience. The Nutcracker is one of the most well-known ballets and is the perfect introduction for new audiences into this art form. Kevin O'Hare, director of the Royal Ballet, is keen to ensure that the production elements are appropriate within the context of classical ballet.
O'Hare is one of the signatories in the ‘Final Bow for Yellowface' campaign to eliminate ‘outdated and offensive stereotypes of Asians (Yellowface) on our stages'. O'Hare wrote,
On behalf of The Royal Ballet I am delighted to be supporting this campaign to ensure that dance and ballet continue to be a force for diversity, inclusion and equality, with everyone represented respectfully on our stages.
Encore screenings will run from Sunday 11 December 2022.
The Royal Opera House has been transmitting opera and ballet to audiences across the globe since 2008, when this new way of experiencing theatre was born. The 2022-2023 season offers 13 productions from The Royal Ballet and The Royal Opera and will be broadcast to more than 1,300 cinemas from the UK all the way to New Zealand.
Graham Spicer is a writer, director and photographer in Milan, blogging (under the name ‘Gramilano') about dance, opera, music and photography for people “who are a bit like me and like some of the things I like”. He was a regular columnist for Opera Now magazine and wrote for the BBC until transferring to Italy.
His scribblings have appeared in various publications from Woman's Weekly to Gay Times, and he wrote the ‘Danza in Italia' column for Dancing Times magazine.