Perth Festival of the Arts gets underway this week and it's shaping up to be a fantastic ten days showcasing everything the world of arts and culture.
And one of the most talked about and eagerly anticipated things about this year's Festival is a night at the ballet - with a modern 21st-century twist.
The Nutcracker & I, by Alexandra Dariescu is a unique and innovative, 50-minute live performance based on the festive classic. It features Tchaikovsky's enchanting ballet music throughout and has exquisite digital animations that interact with the world-class ballerina, Desiree Ballantyne, as she dances across the stage.
Dariescu inspires the audience by telling her story as Clara - a young girl who goes on to become a concert pianist - and plays renowned favourites such as Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, Arabian Dance, Chinese Dance, Pax de Deux, and The Flower Waltz on-stage on her grand piano.
Don't just take our word for it though - the show has been a smash hit since it debuted at Milton Court, London, on the 19th December last year. Watch the video below for reactions from audiences young and old.
The digital animations that feature throughout the performance have been prepared in advance by Yeast Culture, and they are projected onto a gauze screen helping to bring the story to life.
Speaking about the show, which will be performed in Scotland for the first time on Saturday 19th May at Perth Theatre as part of the 47th Perth Festival of the Arts, Alexandra Dariescu - producer and pianist of The Nutcracker and I - said: "I believe my responsibility as a young artist is to reach out to as many people as possible and to build bridges for those new to classical music.
"I absolutely love what I do and I realised early on that music is my calling but I am also aware that we have to be ever more creative to engage, connect and communicate the beauty of our art to our audiences. We have to be ever more creative to engage, connect and communicate the beauty of our art to our audiences.
"The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu, takes a story and reimagines it in a very personal context making use of some amazing technology that has never been seen quite like this before in a piano recital."
Alexandra was recently named as 'One of 30 Pianists under 30, destined for a spectacular career' and the Romanian musician has performed all over the world in cities such as Amsterdam, New York and Moscow, and has played some of the most recognisable venues in the world such as The Royal Albert Hall in London, and Vienna's prestigious Musikverein.
Tickets for The Nutcracker and I, by Alexandra Dariescu are still available and you can purchase yours by visiting the Perth Festival of the Arts website here.
Perth Festival of the Arts gets underway this Thursday until Saturday 26th May. For full details, visit the event listing in our What's On section.
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