Young Ballerinas Unveil navy-inspired Nutcrackers on Parade

Unique statues tell the story of 800 years of navy history at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard


Ballerinas from Southsea’s Amy Hackett School of Dance were ‘en pointe’ to welcome a dozen specially commissioned Nutcrackers statues to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard to celebrate its 12-days of Navy Christmas.

On the first days of Christmas Portsmouth Historic Dockyard is giving visitors an interactive experience that explores 800 years of Navy history through 12 intricately unique and hand painted nutcracker statues, standing at over six feet tall.

As part of Portsmouth Historic Dockyard’s holiday festivities, each of these stunning statues will tell a tale through their creative designs capturing significant moments in the Royal Navy’s history.

Inspired by a rewritten version of the popular carol 12 Days of Christmas, recorded by the Portsmouth Military Wives choir, each statue’s story has been carefully hand painted by a commissioned artist from public art collective ‘Wild In Art.’ With designs ranging from modern day warships like HMS Queen Elizabeth, to tattooed sailors and legendary leader Vice-Admiral Lord Nelson to proud Navy wrens, the nutcrackers will give visitors a unique artistic interpretation of significant moments in the Royal Navy’s history.

Wild In Art works with talented and creative artists to create sculptures designed to act as a 3D canvas to tell a story. In this case, the navy’s cultural identity is brought to life with these nutcrackers, which Portsmouth Historic Dockyard hopes will encourage visitors to learn more while exploring the site when searching for the next statue.

In addition to the art trail, Portsmouth Historic Dockyard exercised their own artistry by composing a naval spin on the 12 Days of Christmas song to complement each of the nutcracker statues. The original 12 Days of Christmas lyrics have been re-written and re-interpreted to provide visitors with a 3D art trail and music to celebrate 800 years of navy history. The song has been performed and recorded by the Portsmouth Military Wives Choir and can be heard throughout the site during the Christmas period.

The Nutcracker art trail will be on site for guests to enjoy over the holidays through to 6 January 2018.

This exhibit is included in the cost of an all attraction ticket. To celebrate the official 12 days of Christmas from 25 December – 6 January at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, be sure to purchase tickets here to get a 20% discount.

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