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Alexandra Ansanelli, Valeri Hristov
Classical ballet at its most approachable and visually entrancing. A seasonal favourite with something for everyone to enjoy, Hoffman's story tells of one Christmas Eve, when young Clara creeps downstairs for one of her presents, but instead finds herself at the start of a night of magical adventures as the Christmas tree magically grows and the toy soldiers come to life to fight the Mouse King! The beautifully coloured imaginings of the fantasy Sugar Garden and its celebratory dances make a fabulous contrast and Peter Wright's production tells the story clearly from its mysterious start to its happy conclusion. Through it all, Tchaikovsky's music is some of the most instantly memorable of all ballet, with a wealth of famous melodies.