The Nutcracker, in Yuri Grigorovich's production, as performed by the Bolshoi Theater, has to be one of the most perfect ballets. With charming sets and costumes by the genius Simon Virsaladze, Tchaikovsky's renowned score, and the stunning dancers of the Bolshoi Theater, Grigorovich creates an aesthetically, emotionally, and musically perfect ballet. It's as if Tchaikovsky's ideas for the ballet were carried over for a century, until they found their home in Grigorovich's choreography. Personally, as a fan of ballet, Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker has actually become somewhat of a banal eyesore, with virtually thousands of versions of the ballet in existence. This is the one of very few that I enjoy, and I believe the only one that I'm genuinely excited to see.
The music is played exquisitely, and the dancers are all perfect: in technique, musicality, and artistry. Nina Kaptsova is a charming and convincing Marie, somewhat reminiscent of the brilliant Ekaterina Maximova (available on another Nutcracker DVD by the Bolshoi). Artem Ovcharenko is a wonderful Nutcracker Prince, and it is evident that he was coached by the genius Nikolai Tsiskaridze, through the expressions of his arms and general understanding of the emotional palettes necessary for this ballet. Denis Savin is a strange, yet athletic, Drosselmeyer. The rest of the soloists are all excellent, I can hardly see any flaws at all - it is a pleasure to watch them.
The video is shot in HD, and the cameraman definitely knew what he was doing: all of the shots are in the right place at the right time, something uncommon in the realm of ballet DVDs.
I believe this DVD to be the perfect introduction to ballet for EVERYONE. I recommend absolutely everyone to purchase a copy, and it goes without saying - this is a must-have for any ballet lover and collector.