Rehearsals for the Christmas classic fairy tale ballet The Nutcracker at the St Petersburg's Mikhailovsky theatre. No reporter narration.
EDITORS PLEASE NOTE RESENDING WITH CORRECTED DATE Rehearsals for the Christmas classic fairy tale ballet 'The Nutcracker' at the St Petersburg's Mikhailovsky theatre. The Nutcracker composed by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky in 1891 has become the most popular Christmas time show in the world. SHOWS: VARIOUS (RECENT) (REUTERS: BROADCASTERS AND DIGITAL: THE MUSIC TRACK IN THIS VIDEO NEWS STORY MUST ONLY BE USED AS PART OF THIS PRODUCTION AND MUST NOT BE STRIPPED OUT AND USED IN ANY OTHER CONTEXT OR PRODUCTION, OR USED IN ANY RE-EDIT OR CUT DOWN OF THE PRODUCTION) 1. SLIDESHOW OF REUTERS PICTURES SHOWING REHEARSALS FOR 'THE NUTCRACKER' AT MIKHAILOVSKY THEATRE / 'THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER' BEING PERFORMED IN NEW YORK STORY: When the curtain rises for "The Nutcracker" at St Petersburg's Mikhailovsky Theatre, it is the culmination of hundreds of hours of toil and sweat by dancers, costume makers, set designers and musicians. It appears to have paid off. At a recent matinee performance, children looked on wide-eyed as the evil Mouse King did his worst and the Sugar Plum Fairy wowed the capacity audience with a legendary pas de deux that dancers have performed since the first rendition of the ballet in 1892. The production - by Spanish choreographer Nacho Duato, with French stage designer Jerome Kaplan assisting with choreography - is put together by an extensive team, from a painter touching up scenery to a violinist practising or a ballet dancer leaping in a workout. "Nacho Duato has created a real fairy tale and a beautiful ballet," says Leonid Sarafanov, principal dancer at the Mikhailovsky Theatre. "I am always happy to rehearse and perform his choreography." The production, meanwhile, is a clear demonstration of the global appeal of the Christmas classic. For it is not just in Russia - where dance appeals to fans young and old from many economic backgrounds - that the ballet continues to draw crowds more than a century after Pyotr Tchaikovsky wrote the score. In New York, for example, "The Hip Hop Nutcracker" includes the rapper Kurtis Blow, while a more traditional production by English National Ballet is performed at The Coliseum in London's West End. Wherever The Nutcracker is staged, from Los Angeles to Melbourne via Tokyo, the performance does not just happen. The entire dance troupe at the Mikhailovsky started one day of painstaking preparation with a dance class even before formal rehearsals, which continued beyond 9 p.m.