Great Russian Ballet
Russian ballet stars Alexandra Elagina and Anatolie Ustimov make their debut in the Western tour as Masha (Clara) and the Nutcracker Prince. courtesy photo

Tickets are now on sale for Moscow Ballet’s production of the “Great Russian Nutcracker.” It will be performed Thursday, December 22, at 7:30 p.m. at the Fox Tucson Theatre.

Alexandra Elagina and Anatolie Ustimov will make their debut in the Western tour as Masha (aka Clara) and the Nutcracker Prince. The award-winning stars and a troupe of 30 trained Russian dancers performed the beloved Christmas story to critical acclaim in 2010 on the Eastern tour.

2011 marks Moscow Ballet’s 19th annual Great Russian Nutcracker tour to more than 60 cities across North America. Set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score, its production features 200 lavish costumes, larger-than-life Russian puppets, and nine hand-painted backdrops that are embellished with 3-D effects.

Moscow Ballet’s ballet master is Andre Litvinov, from the Chisinau State Opera and Ballet Theatre in Moldova. He is laureate of the International Ballet Competition Romania.

To purchase tickets, visit or call 547-3040. Tickets start at $27.50. Group discounts are available for 10 or more. Visit or call 800-320-1733.

 Alexandra Elagina makes her debut in the western United States and Canada as Masha (aka Clara) in Moscow Ballet’s “Great Russian Nutcracker,” performing in more than 30 cities.  She made her U.S. debut during the 2010 Eastern tour to critical acclaim. “Brimful with feeling,” said the New York Times and “Exuded the essence of delicacy,” said Charleston Today.

Elagina hails from Kazan, the sixth largest city in Russia, the “third capital of Russia.” She graduated from the Kazan Ballet Academy in 2006. Immediately after graduation, she was accepted as a soloist to Tatar’s Jalil State Academic Theater of Opera and Ballet, considered by some to be home to one of the best troupes performing in Russia today. Elagina made her performing debut as the Fairy of Tenderness in “Sleeping Beauty.”

Her roles and repertory include Fairy, Blue Bird and Cat in “Sleeping Beauty”; Snow White in “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs”; Masha, Doll and pas de trois in the “Nutcracker”; trio from La Corsaire, pas de trois and Little Swan in “Swan Lake”; Nikia, pas de trois, and pas d’action in “La Bayadere”; Solveig in “Peer Gynt”; and others.

Ustimov is a Laureate of the 2009 International Ballet Competitions in Moscow and hails from Chisinau, the capitol of Moldova, a republic of the former Soviet Union. 

He debuted as the Nutcracker Prince during the 2010 Eastern tour of the “Great Russian Nutcracker” tour to critical acclaim. “Masha and the Prince… a handsome pair of principal dancers,” said “Elagina and Ustimov… partnered beautifully and executed their solos with aristocratic finesse,” said the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “When performed by masters like these, ballet seems effortless, elegant, and easy,” said the Twin Cities Daily Planet. 

Ustimov graduated with honors from the State Academic Choreographic School of Moldova in 2001, and has been principal artist with the State Theater of Opera and Ballet of Moldova since 2000. 

At just 28 years old, Ustimov is the archetypal male Russian dancer. He boasts a significant ballet repertoire, including Siegfried in “Swan Lake,” Romeo in “Romeo and Juliet,” the Bluebird pas de deux in “Sleeping Beauty,” Albrecht in “Giselle,” and more.

He, and his wife, Ekaterina, have been members of the Moscow Ballet productions since 2009.

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