21st May, 2019

Pure magic: The music, the dance. Top duo say why Nutcracker is so good

Correspondent 19th Nov, 2018 Updated: 19th Nov, 2018

IT’S the biggest Christmas show in the Midlands if not in Britain and principal dancer Celine Gittens and first soloist Brandon Lawrence can’t wait for curtain up on The Nutcracker’s run at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

The duo together perform the iconic roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and the Nutcracker Prince to Tchaikovsky’s stunning score in Birmingham Royal Ballet’s magical production.

Rising star Celine, the daughter of a ballet teacher, started dancing aged just three and became the first female dancer of mixed race to perform the role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake with BRB at the Birmingham Hippodrome.

And if there’s one show that is guaranteed to lift any ballet dancer, its The Nutcracker, and BRB’s production has won worldwide acclaim.

“The thing I love most is the tradition,” said Celine.

“Hearing that music, especially the Sugar Plum Fairy music which everyone knows, gives me such a warm, cosy feeling and it means Christmas is here.”

Brandon added: “The Tchaikovsky score is just perfection, especially the pas de deux music.

“It helps too that we have an incredible production. I don’t think I’d want to dance in another. It really is fantastic, from the designs, to the staging and the choreography. I love it all.

“And there’s anticipation the whole way through the ballet, not just for the dancer, but also for the audience.”

In a show packed with highlights there’s a very special scene for Celine which will have the audience swooning.

“My favourite part is the shoulder sits in the final pas de deux, when the Sugar Plum Fairy runs and jumps to sit on the Prince’s shoulder, like magic,” she said.

“The music has such a grand feeling and it’s just really exciting. It’s a really nice moment that comes out of nowhere.”

For Brandon, three moments hit the spot.

“The first is the Sugar Plum and Prince pas de deux itself. I adore that music. I enjoy the pas de deux with Clara as well because that music is huge too.

“My final one, which might be surprising, is the children’s dance in the party scene. I love that music; it’s such great moment.”

The Nutcracker is at the Birmingham Hippodrome from Friday, November 24 to Thursday, December 13. Tickets cost from £20 on 0844 338 5000 or visit https://www.brb.org.uk/


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