Art Alert: Christmas with The Nutcracker and the Cairo Opera

Ahram Online , Monday 22 Dec 2014

Between 25 and 30 December, the Cairo Opera Ballet Company and the Cairo Opera Orchestra, conducted by Nayer Nagui, will perform The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House Main Hall

The Nutcracker
The Nutcracker ballet at the Cairo Opera House (Photo: Sherif Sonbol)

Tchaikovsky's famed Nutcracker ballet... One of the standard repertoire elements, performed by the Cairo Opera Ballet Company, the ballet returns to the Cairo Opera's stage starting 25 December. With most performances taking place in the evening, the troupe will give one matinee performance on 29 December.

“It’s been 20 years that we’ve performed the Nutcracker at the Cairo Opera House, one of the most frequently performed ballets in our history. I remember our first performance, in which I danced the role of Clara, and Lamia Mohamed danced Clara the young girl. I remember how tense I was,” Erminia Kamel commented to Al Ahram Weekly, adding that the ballet is very demanding technically. 

She continues by pointing that this is a unique version of the Nutcracker, which she says is the most appealing she has ever watched or danced in. “The director of the ballet, the late Abdel Moneim Kamel, gave his own beautiful touch to the Nutcracker. He enriched the personalities without undermining their main characteristics.”

The ballet is based on the story The Nutcracker and the King of Mice  by E.T.A. Hoffman. The story begins on Christmas Eve and obviously this is the reason that the ballet is usually performed around Christmas time. Even though the story diverts a little from Hoffman’s text (as Pepita, choreographer, used Dumas' revised version of The Nutcracker), the basic plot line remains the same and tells of a girl dreaming of a Nutcracker Prince battling against a Mouse King with seven heads. The Nutcracker is always a lovely family outing at Christmas.

Daily 25-30 December at 8pm
in addition to matinee performance on 29 December, at 11am
main hall, Cairo Opera House, Zamalek.

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