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As a special festive treat, Mareel will be screening its first ever “alternative content” (a filmed live event e.g. opera, theatre, ballet, and/or a concert) on Sunday 30th December with a showing of The Nutcracker performed by the Bolshoi Ballet, filmed live in Moscow.

The cast includes an incredible line-up of dancers including Nina Kaptsova, Artem Ovcharenko, Denis Savin, and Pavel Dmitrichenko. The choreography is by the legendary Yuri Grigorovich who, after being accepted into the Leningrad Ballet School in 1946, went on to become a soloist at St Petersburg’s Kirov Ballet, where he stayed until 1962. He joined the Bolshoi Theatre in 1964, and was artistic director until 1995. His most famous works are The Nutcracker, Spartacus, and Ivan the Terrible.

The score for The Nutcracker is by Tchaikovsky, and it first opened in 1892 at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg. It was Tchaikovsky’s last ballet. Composed in the space of a year, its score today is one of the most popular of all ballet scores. For The Nutcracker Tchaikovsky again joined forces with Marius Petipa, with whom he had collaborated on The Sleeping Beauty.

This version, choreographed for the Bolshoi by Grigorovich, is full of romanticism and philosophical reflections on ideal love. It is one of the great classics of the 20th century and, alongside Spartacus and Ivan the Terrible, is one of Grigorovich’s most famous works.

Shetland Arts Marketing Officer Lisa Ward said: “We are honoured to welcome this special screening of The Nutcracker performed by the Bolshoi Ballet to Mareel as our first showing of alternative content in the cinema. We feel that this will be a very popular event and would urge anyone interested in attending to purchase their ticket as soon as possible. What better way to celebrate the festive season!”

It is Christmas Eve in the home of Mr and Mrs Stahlbaum and their children, Marie and Fritz. Family and friends have gathered for the night’s festivities. Presents are distributed to the children. Marie’s godfather, Drosselmeyer, gives her a strange toy: a wooden nutcracker, carved in the shape of a little man. At midnight, after the celebrations are over, all the toys magically come to life. The nutcracker grows to life-size and takes command of the tin solders, flying to the rescue of Marie, who is threatened by the Mouse King and his mouse army.

Tickets for this event go on sale this Friday, 30th Novemember, at 10am via Shetland Box Office in Mareel and Islesburgh, over the phone on 01595 745 555 and 01595 745 500, and online at www.mareel.org and www.shetlandboxoffice.org.

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