Nutcracker (San Francisco Ballet)

Nutcracker (San Francisco Ballet)

4.4 5
Director: Matthew Diamond

Cast: Damian Smith, Elizabeth Powell, Davit Karapetyan


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The San Francisco Ballet mounted this elaborate 2008 production of Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky's 1892 Nutcracker, with choreography by Helgi Tomasson (the said company's resident artistic director) and scenic design by Michael Yeargan. Uniquely, this production sets the fantastic events of the ballet at the time of the Panama Pacific International Exposition in…  See more details below


The San Francisco Ballet mounted this elaborate 2008 production of Pyotr Illych Tchaikovsky's 1892 Nutcracker, with choreography by Helgi Tomasson (the said company's resident artistic director) and scenic design by Michael Yeargan. Uniquely, this production sets the fantastic events of the ballet at the time of the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. It stars Damian Smith as Uncle Drosselmeyer, Davit Karapetyan as The Nutcracker Prince and David Arce as The Mouse King.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Bbc / Opus Arte
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[DTS 5.1-Channel Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Illustrated Synopsis; Cast gallery; Interviews with Helgi Tomasson, Michael Yeargan and Martin Pakledinaz; Documentary on the 1915 World's Fair, a source of inspiration to the creative team

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Damian Smith Uncle Drosselmeyer
Elizabeth Powell Clara
Davit Karapetyan Nutcracker Prince
David Arce Mouse King
Yuan Yuan Tan Snow Queen
Pierre-François Vilanoba Snow King
Vanessa Zahorian Sugar Plum Fairy
Maria Kochetkova Grand Pas De Deux Ballerina
Martin West Conductor

Technical Credits
Matthew Diamond Director
Adam Abeshouse Producer
Judy Flannery Producer
David Horn Executive Producer
Martin Pakledinaz Costumes/Costume Designer
Hans Petri Executive Producer
Tricia Petri Producer
Helgi Tomasson Choreography
Ferenc van Damme Producer
Michael Yeargan Set Decoration/Design

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Nutcracker
1. Opening Credits [:00]
1. Overture [:00]
3. The Christmas Tree [:00]
1. March [:00]
1. Gallop-Parents' Dance [:00]
1. Dance Scene & Drosselmeyer's Presents [:00]
1. Scene - Grandparents' Dance [:00]
1. Clara and the Nutcracker [:00]
1. Battle of the Toys and Mice [:00]
1. Transformaiton [:00]
1. Scene - Waltz of the Snowflakes [:00]
1. The Garden in the Pavillion of Dreams [:00]
1. Clara and the Nutcracker Prince [:00]
1. Spanish Dance [:00]
1. Arabian Dance [:00]
1. Chinese Dance [:00]


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Nutcracker (San Francisco Ballet) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
8ears2hear More than 1 year ago
The SF Ballet's version of The Nutcracker is beautifully choreographed and visually appealing. My young daughters (2 & 4) ask to watch it over and over. They love the "bad guy Mouse King" and are captivated by the scenery and costumes. Set in SF in the early 1900's, it is definitely on the more playful side which keeps the attention of my little ones. The lighting is brilliant, costumes and background absolutely stunning, and the dancing is captivating. As a parent, I appreciate the fact that my girls are learning to appreciate art both in dance and music. Having seen 3 live performances, this DVD by far has held our attention and kept even the smallest ones entranced. Highly recommended for little viewers and enjoyable for adults as well.
danrubin06 More than 1 year ago
Helgi Tomasson, though presenting some additions of clever themes, botches an already over-done and cliché-ridden Nutcracker. This contemporary re-telling of the story is set in San Francisco during the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition. The first act is laden with high fashions of the time and beautiful sets. Notable performances in the first act include a jack-in-the-box and a ballerina doll, though notable for the dancers themselves, not the choreography. The Nutcracker doll itself is hilariously frightening, with bizarre blue eyes, and electroshocked red hair. It's also odd that, what with such a big company and huge school, the stage looks somewhat bare with just 6 couples of children and relatively few adults. Clara, the 13-year old lead, danced by Elizabeth Powell is already so much taller than the rest of the company, and has so much make-up on that she looks as if she's 20, at the least. Opposite her, Damian Smith performs an eccentric and original Drosselmeyer. The fight scene is done very well, the costumes and sets look fantastic here, and the mousetrap (instead of the shoe being what kills the Mouse King) is a clever addition. However, once snow begins, the production begins to fall apart. Yuan Yuan Tan, a beautiful dancer, shines as the Snow Queen, though it's difficult to actually even see her role due to the constant camera changes, specifically displaying her lovely face. The choreography for the corps de ballet in the snow scene is disastrous, though it looks slightly more acceptable what with gallons of fake snow drowning it out. The second act, now set in a surreal idealized world, with minimalist sets based on a famous building from the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exposition, keeps the standard falling. The very beginning, where the Nutcracker Prince describes his perils to the Sugar Plum Fairy is over-done with bravura tricks, which have no place in this part of the ballet. The character dances, for the most part, are choreographically decent. The Arabian is pretty, but dull. The Russians do have a clever theme to them, bursting out of golden eggs. Also, the (traditionally) gingerbread mother (or Jokers/Fools in some Russian versions) is instead a 'carnival' mother, showing off dozens of children and a circus bear; which is something new, unexpected, and very cute. Chinese, Mirlitons, and Spanish are aesthetically pleasing and very well danced. The Waltz of the Flowers is disastrous. The choreography is unexciting and completely anticlimactic, and the costumes tacky. It is also evident that here (and in the Waltz of the Snowflakes), some of the corps de ballet dancers are blatantly overweight, and shouldn't be dancing these classical roles, when present times call for a certain look (which is longer and thinner).Then, the jewel of the second act, the famous grand pas de deux, is massacred. Though the Nutcracker Prince (Davit Karapetyan) and Grand Pas de Deux Ballerina (Maria Kochetkova) are technically very proficient and beautiful, there is nothing in the choreography that suits the story, it might as well have been any array of classical movements. The pas de deux is very anticlimactic as well, and proves a huge disappointment. Finally, Clara wakes up, and the ballet is over. Though the dancers themselves are technically proficient and beautiful (when not looking too directly at some of the overweight corps de ballet), the choreography is bland and unexciting. The costumes are elegant
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
wickedwitchofhou More than 1 year ago
This production for San Fransisco Ballet is a true marvel. Set in the early 1900's during the World's Fair makes this production special by actual putting a actual time of the period. Other productions make you think of when and where it is taking place. Not this one. You know from the archtecture when and where you are. A wonderful DVD for the holidays or anytime you want to relieve the day you first saw the Nutcraker as a child, or to see it in a new light. A must for any collection.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago