Cranky New York Times dance critic Alastair Macaulay has embarked on a "Nutcracker marathon," pledging to see as many productions as he can of this classic ballet this season across the United States. Well, we have one for him to attend in Miami this weekend. Save room for sugarplums on Friday, when the Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida gives us another original take on the story of fairies and rats, this one choreographed by ABTSF's director, Vladimir Issaev.
Born in Russia, just like the original ballet, Issaev promises an updated version of the classic with his youthful and energetic company. Listen to what Issaev has to say about what makes his version stand out after the jump.
Miami New Times: How is your Nutcracker different from the rest?
Vladimir Issaev: Being far from the Balanchine version, ours follows the
Russian classical tradition with an extraordinary cast of professional
dancers that come from the most prestigious ballet backgrounds such as
the Mariinsky Theater (formerly Kirov), Perm Opera Ballet, The
Grigorovich Ballet, Colorado Ballet, and dancers from Japan and China
who have become local dancers of Miami as they are part of our resident
company. There are no guest stars in our show, as our resident dancers
are true stars.
Does your production feature an all-professional cast?
The party scene is composed of a mix of professional dancers and some
very peculiar people from our community, among them a telenovela writer,
two attorneys, two financial consultants and a former gymnast. You are
not able to tell who is who!
What inspired your take on the choreography of this classic ballet?
First of all, the beautiful music of genius Tchaikovsky. Then the
incredible energy of the young ballerinas who die to be Clara every year
and who work tirelessly in class to achieve that goal. From the
littlest mouse and the gorgeous angels, to the professional Sugar Plum
Fairy, everyone and everything is an inspiration to me when it comes to
Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida presents The Nutcracker at 7 p.m. on
Friday, and at 3 and 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday at the Aventura Arts
& Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., Aventura) December 10-12, and
then to the Parker Playhouse December 18. Call 305-466-8002 or visit
--Celeste Fraser Delgado
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