ENB’s Nutcracker season is drawing to a close, with the final performances scheduled for this Sunday, 4 January. Last month, we dropped by the company’s headquarters to interview dancers James Streeter, Sarah Kundi, Max Westwell and Alina Cojocaru for the ENB Advent Calendar series. We collected belowÂ some of their thoughts onÂ the festive season at ENB:
Iâ€™m going to say the Mouse Kingâ€¦ it is great fun to do. You get to be someone else, someone different. And I get to do sounds and pull faces under the mask, that no one ever knows about. When you put on a costume and a mask like that, you transform into someone else and for me that is great. The Mouse King is also the best character to watch, but I know I am biased!
As for a favorite scene, Iâ€™d probably say the â€œsnowflakes sceneâ€, it is so nice. The girls, and the lines, the colours and the lighting are great. The music really says Christmas. In fact, not just the â€œsnowâ€ scene but from when you leave â€œthe battleâ€, and that transition where it all completely changes: you forget the battle and carry out through the â€œsnowâ€. James Streeter
ENB has a beautiful production, and I really enjoy it, especially the snow scene, with all the jetÃ©s and jumps, and the Waltz of the Flowers, where thereâ€™s some really fun partnering going on. Plus, the Arabian dance because you just get a moment to get out of the pointes and have some nice flat shoes on for a bit. Sarah Kundi
On favourite Nutcracker moments. Read full interview with James and SarahÂ here.
Getting to do Prince because it was such a stepping stone. Itâ€™s the big moment. As a kid, I always enjoyed watching Thomas Edur in the role, and heâ€™s one of the reasons I came to ENB. He was still here when I joined. So, to be able to dance it now is amazing. I feel like if I had to retire now, Iâ€™d be happy because I got to the top of the repertory. I have been edging towards it for years and it had always eluded me. So for me, it sums up the year. Max Westwell
On reasons to be thankful. Read full interview with Max here.
We have such great repertory coming up! We have now started rehearsals on the Modern Masters bill. It is going to be the best of Forsythe, the best of Neumeier and the best of KyliÃ¡n. It doesnâ€™t get any better than this, so that is very exciting for me and, Iâ€™m sure, for everyone in the company. And there are a couple of international tours that are also very exciting and new. It is important for people to see the company, it hasnâ€™t been seen much overseas and it has such wonderful dancers. Of course, it is a lot of work to put together these tours, but I think it is our time, to go out there and show what we have to offer. It is very exciting.
So that is what I wish for me and for the company: to go out and perform in works we havenâ€™t done before and enjoy them. I never sit down and just go â€˜I wish I would do that balletâ€™ and I was lucky that many things came my way, that I was able to give them my attention, so I am quite happy to work with these choreographers and see their way of working. As an artist, that is what makes you grow and develop. Alina Cojocaru
On what’s in store for 2015. Read full interview with Alina here.
Meanwhile,Â Alice PennefatherÂ was at the general rehearsal earlier this season, and photographed Alina, new principal Alejandro Virelles and the whole company in action:
All Photos: Â© Alice Pennefather