Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Truly Sugar Plum Perfect

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Truly Sugar Plum Perfect

Article excerpt

Byline: LUKE JENNINGS

NUTCRACKER/Royal Ballet Royal Opera House **

IT'S Nutcracker season again, and last night saw Darcey Bussell's return to the Covent Garden stage after maternity leave. She danced the Sugar Plum Fairy and, after a careful beginning, her performance swiftly gathered confidence. Her partner - as in many past triumphs - was Jonathan Cope, and his solicitude of her was as moving as it was tender.

In her solo, nerves suitably smoothed, she hit a balance in attitude of such sensuous perfection that a ripple of shared pleasure ran through the audience. It was an archetypal Darcey moment.

But Peter Wright's Nutcracker is a company piece, and last night's performance was studded with good things.

The lead role of Clara was danced by Alina Cojocaru, who occupies the part with extraordinary naturalness and fluency. Cojocaru dances as if she and the music were one, and as if the notation of every role that she will ever dance were already inscribed deep inside her. …

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