Afternoon of classic ballet at Eastbank

By James Bennett

It's just over a month until Christmas and if you need a little festive sprinkle early, then this weekend's ballet could be the answer.

The Goulburn Valley Academy of Ballet is performing legendary Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's masterpiece The Nutcracker.

Principal and artistic director Melanie Coats said the full suite demonstrated the talents of the young ballerinas.

“It's the entire performance of The Nutcracker that includes all of the famous musical numbers,” she said.

“The performers range from about 4 to mid-20s. They've been rehearsing this since their ballet exams earlier this year.

“The kids are very excited for the performance. The older kids are doing a really good job supporting the younger ones.”

Nikita Alexandrow staring as lead in The Nutcracker. Picture: Rodney Braithwaite

The Nutcracker has some of ballet and classical music's best-known arrangements, including March of the Toy Soldiers, Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Waltz of the Flowers.

The story follows Clara on Christmas Eve, when she is presented with a nutcracker in the form of a wooden man.

The nutcracker turns into a handsome prince, before he and Clara travel to an enchanted land.

“It's awesome entertainment, classic Christmas ballet and one of Tchaikovsky's best,” Mrs Coats said.

“It's probably the most approachable ballet of them all.”

Grace Newman during the Nutcracker rehearsal. Picture: Rodney Braithwaite

The GV Academy of Ballet will also be performing an additional piece called Dance Evolution, described as a continually flowing piece about musical theatre dance.

The Nutcracker is on at Eastbank this Saturday and Sunday, starting at 2 pm.

Tickets cost: full adult $28, concession $20, student $18 and child $18.

Tickets available at www.riverlinksvenues.com.au or at the door.