Even those who don’t like Rudolf Nureyev as a choreographer (and this writer is among them), cannot fail to appreciate his “Nutcracker,” returning this season to La Scala after a sixteen-year absence. It was foreseeable that the director of the ballet, Manuel Legris, a pupil of the dancer-choreographer and a great performer of his ballets, would dust off the production, allowing few regrets for the previous versions that have passed on the stage at La Scala without leaving a mark: from the bad edition by Nacho Duato to that sadly staged by George Balanchine. The return to a ballet by Nureyev keeps the company’s technical level high: undeniable, given the effort to which the often uselessly complex, if not cumbersome, choreographies subject it. Luckily the new generation of La Scala’s dancers have qualities of plasticity and virtuosity such as to make even the most unmusical passages amiable in terms of style. All the more in the “Nutcracker,” created by Nureyev at the end of the sixties, when his choreographer’s hand was happier.
Nicoletta Manni and Timofej Andrijashenko in “The Nutcracker” by Rudolf Nureyev. Photograph by Brescia e Amisano ļTeatro alla Scala