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Ballet dancers get cold feet
An audience was left disappointed after ballet dancers decided it was too cold to perform.

The temperature in Liverpool's Empire Theatre was one degree centigrade below the minimum laid down by the dancers' union, reports BBC Online News. About 2,000 people were hoping to see a performance of The Nutcracker, the Tchaikovsky ballet featuring the Ice Queen in the Land of Snow, which can be enjoyed on the GMN feature pages this week.

But the English National Ballet said continuing with the show could have ruined the dancers' careers.

It was the final show in a five-day run of the fairy tale. The BBC reports that many youngsters went home in tears when the company of 64 dancers called off the performance.

Temperatures backstage had apparently dipped to 18C (64F) and the ballet company claimed requests for extra heaters were not initially met.

"Our people advised the theatre on how to warm the wings, " a spokesperson told the BBC. "But the temperature on the other side of the curtain less than 18C when you're standing there in a tutu and tights, that's very cold."

The chill was said to have caused problems at all four previous Liverpool performances, and it was claimed that on one occasion, the male lead dancer, the Prince, was in spasms at the end.

A spokeswoman for the Empire Theatre said it was "very disappointed" by the ballet's cancellation. "We tried to help. It was a health and safety issue for the dancers - there was nothing we could do."

It is understood that the theatre will refund the price of the tickets.

Wed Dec 19 2001 (12:04:10 PM)