Cian Hughes, one of the professional stars of Ballet Ireland’s upcoming production of The Nutcracker

BALLET Ireland will soon be presenting The Nutcracker, one of the world’s most beloved ballets, with performances in the Gaiety Theatre from November 16 to 19.
This Christmas classic appeals to audiences of all ages, with its fairytale magic, Tchaikovsky’s beloved and sumptuous score, beautiful costumes, and a tale of adventure combining to form one of the most delectable Christmas confections imaginable.
Based on stories by E T A Hoffmann and Alexander Dumas, the ballet starts at a marvellous Christmas Eve party, as mysterious Uncle Drosselmeyer brings gifts for all the children.
When midnight strikes, very strange things start to happen. The Christmas tree grows to incredible heights, and Clara’s magical Christmas gift – her Nutcracker – leads them into a truly fairy-tale world.

With her heroic Nutcracker at her side, Clara defeats the Mouse King and his army of mice, and they journey to the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets together …
This Irish production is performed by an international cast of world-class dancers, including Hayley Cunningham and Cian Hughes, both Dublin-born.
Cian told The Gazette that performing in The Nutcracker is a dream come true for him.
“I’m absolutely thrilled to be performing in such a highly-respected ballet. When I was younger, I appeared in The Nutcracker as one of the children, but this is going to be my first performance as a professional dancer.
“I started ballet really late, at the age of 16, and when I was 18 I moved to London and trained at the Central School of Ballet.”
Cian said an average day of ballet school is extremely intense, starting at 7.30am each morning.
“We would do weight classes for about two hours in the morning, followed by other training and technique lessons until about 6pm.
“It’s also so important to keep a balanced diet, because at the end of our day our body is our product – it’s what we have to work with, and if we’re not at our best, we just won’t be able to do our job.
“I’ve only recently graduated, and am so thankful that I’ve been taken on by Ballet Ireland. It’s really my dream to be here, and I hope to keep at it for a very long time,” he said.
Ballet Ireland’s production of The Nutcracker will be on tour across Ireland in November and December, with additional Dublin performances in Draiocht, Blanchardstown on Friday, November 25 and The Helix, Glasnevin, on Thursday, December 8.
Tickets are priced €26 – €45, and can be purchased at www.balletireland.ie.

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