Shatkovskaya and Tkachenko 

Review: The Great Russian Nutcracker | Moscow Ballet | McFarlin Auditorium

Russian Revolution

The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker brings the country's traditional technique to local dancers and audiences.

published Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seeing The Nutcracker always gets me into the holiday spirit and Friday night's performance of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at Southern Methodist University's McFarlin Auditorium was no exception. The production is choreographed by Stanislav Vlasov of the Bolshoi Theatre (and uses canned music).

Aided by 94 students from 27 dance studios in North Texas, the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker tells the tale of a young girl, Masha (Karyna Shatkovskaya) and her beloved present, a Nutcracker. When she falls asleep she dreams of a land filled with mice, snowflakes, angels, a Snow Queen, a Rat King and of course, her Nutcracker Prince (Vladimir Tkachenko).

Kids in the audience were entranced by the production's elaborate set designs, bright-colored costumes and detailed lighting that transformed the stage into something straight out of a child's imagination. Mice scampered about, snow fell from the sky, and couples from around the world came to dance for Masha and her prince. More seasoned dance enthusiasts had the opportunity to see the Russian ballet style performed by Moscow Ballet's amazing dance technicians.

The Russian ballet style is not for everyone. Russian ballet dancers are taught to dance with their upper bodies slightly in front of their hips, giving them a sway back look. They are also known to dance with a rigid spine, which some people would say makes their movements look robotic. Russian dancers also like to break their wrists instead of maintaining a long line. All of these characteristics were evident in the Great Russian Nutcracker and I am a fan.

The dancers' movements were not robotic, but crisp and technically flawless. The pointe work was intricate, yet effortless.

The show's highlights included the Snow Queen dance, the Arabian variation and Masha and the Prince's grand pas de deux. The Arabian dancers, Sergei Chumakov and Elena Petrachenko, stole the show with their abnormally flexible bodies, death drops and sustained extensions. (See video below.)

The children's cast was promising. The little snowflakes were cute and cheeky while the party guests, mice, angels, butterflies and world dancers were adequate. While these dancers are young and have a long way to go in their training, performing in the Great Russian Nutcracker is not a bad place to start.

◊ Katie Dravenstott is a freelance writer and dance teacher based in Dallas. Visit her blog at

Here's a video of the Arabian variation, with Chumakov and Petrachenko:

  Thanks For Reading


Maria Thomas writes:
Sunday, November 18 at 11:36AM


tammy writes:
Sunday, November 18 at 8:51PM

We went this fri november 16, 2012 and it was a FABULOUS show!!!! The dancers were beautiful and performed perfectly! My 2 daughters were in the show and it was just awesome. Would definitely recommend this professional show again and again!!!

Dates, Prices, & Other Details

View the Article Slideshow

Comment on this Article

Share this article on Social Media
Click or Swipe to close
Russian Revolution
The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker brings the country's traditional technique to local dancers and audiences.
by Katie Dravenstott

Share this article on Facebook
Tweet this article
Share this article on Google+
Share this article via email
Click or Swipe to close
views on theater, dance, classical music, opera and comedy performances
news & notes
reports from the local performing arts scene
features & interviews
who and what are moving and shaking in the performing arts scene
season announcements
keep up with the arts groups' upcoming seasons
listen to interviews with people in the local performing arts scene
media reviews
reviews and stories on performing arts-related film, TV, recordings and books
arts organizations
learn more about the local producing and presenting arts groups
performance venues
learn more about the theaters and spaces where the arts happen
keep up with fabulous ticket giveaways and other promotions
connect to local arts crowdfunding campaigns
post or view auditions and performing arts-related classes, services, jobs and more
about us
info on TheaterJones, our staff, what we do and how to contact us
Click or Swipe to close
First Name:
Last Name:
Date of Birth:
ZIP Code:
Your Email Address:
Click or Swipe to close
Join TheaterJones Around the Web

Follow Us on Twitter

Subscribe to our Youtube Channel

Click or Swipe to close
Search the TheaterJones Archives
Use any or all of the options below to search through all of reviews, interviews, features and special sections. If you are looking for a an event, use the calendar section of this website. This search will not search through the calendar.
Article Title Search:

Description Search:
TheaterJones Contributor:

TheaterJones Section:

Showing on or after:      Showing on or before:  
Click or Swipe to close
We welcome your comments

I am discussing:  

Your Name:
Your Email Adress:

please enter the text below and then click or tap SUBMIT :