To Buzz’s resident dance and theatre fan Sarah Bowdidge, nothing is more perfect for Christmas than seeing a ballet – she used to see them annually as a child, in fact. Here, she offers her picks for the best seasonal shows happening across Wales this December.
First of up for my Christmas ballet picks in Wales, St David’s Hall in Cardiff is returning to its regular programming schedule of four different ballets during late December, including Cinderella, The Nutcracker, Romeo & Juliet and Swan Lake (tickets for all shows: £9.75-£52). Performed by The Russian State Ballet Of Siberia and accompanied by The Russian State Ballet Orchestra, this is the company I grew up with, and they truly are top notch. The beauty of the ballet and the symphony orchestra together is just breathtaking – and with four different shows, there’s bound to be one for everyone.
Cinderella, the world’s favourite rags-to-riches fairytale where dreams can come true, combines Prokofiev’s energetic score, lively choreography and colourful costumes. Fans of the Disney film will undoubtedly love this; moreover, Cinderella is equipped to delight the whole family. It’s at the Hall on Sat 18 and Sun 19 Dec.
Up next at that venue is the Christmas classic The Nutcracker, which will transport you to a magical, snowy world on Christmas Eve, where a toy comes to life. The Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy is an absolutely iconic moment, not to be missed – Mon 20-Fri 24 Dec being the relevant dates.
Swan Lake, a highly romantic and simply beautiful ballet is rendered perfect by Tchaikovsky’s haunting, unforgettable score. The dual role of Odette/Odile is one of ballet’s most unmissable technical challenges, which you can witness from Mon 27-Thurs 30 Dec. Rounding up the season is Romeo & Juliet, which turns the classic Shakespeare tale into magnificent ballet and takes place on New Year’s Eve, with two further performances on Sun 2 Jan.
Before all that, on Sat 11 Dec, there’s The Snow Queen at The Blake Theatre in Monmouth (tickets: £10-£18). A Ballet Theatre UK production, this is bound to be a beautiful re-telling of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairytale, with the international dancers, beautiful costumes and glittering stage sets for which this company are renowned, combining to create a magnificent spectacle, all set to a glorious and magical score.
Finally, from Fri 10-Sun 12 Dec, Rubicon Dance’s brand new Graduate Company premieres a new and family-friendly production of Christmas favourite, The Nutcracker (tickets: £15). It’s playing at The Riverfront in Newport, and in a first for Wales, this version of the ballet is given a new, original twist – notably featuring music by Duke Ellington – and is transplanted into a Welsh family Christmas. Choreographed by award-winning creative, Jamiel Laurence, lately of the Scottish Ballet, in his first full-length work, these ballets may be time-honoured but they can still harbour talent to watch out for.
words SARAH BOWDIDGE
Events are Back!
If you’re running or promoting events in Wales, list them here for FREE.