The New Nutcracker
Posted 20 December 2004 - 10:11 PM
Any chance this Nutcracker will be videotaped??? That would be WONDERFUL!!! And thanks Sharon for the wonderful review!
Posted 21 December 2004 - 01:40 AM
According to one description I found about Vainonen vs Balanchine, it said:
A Nutcracker as a child's dream fantasy filled with sweets and fun (Balanchine) or a romantic dream of a teenaged girl (Vainonen).
While this is an older Clara (she's on the transition to womanhood and is played by 13-16 year olds - in the past it's been younger Claras), I wouldn't call it tremendously romantic. One interview I read said that Helgi wanted an older Clara because he wanted her concern for the injured prince to be believable - he said he didn't just want a pretty face. (There are 4 Claras this year - usually there are 3. Three are students and one is a company apprentice.)
At the end of the Nutcracker Clara wakes up on her sofa, looks around at her livingroom as if she can't believe she's home, picks up her Nutcracker and runs up the staircase into the arms of her mother as the curtain descends. Both times I saw it I teared up - it's very sweet.
I gather that another Vainonen tradition is that most of the roles are played by adults. That is true for the Prince - he's now played by a company member. This is not a dark version of Nutcracker and there is no undercurrent of any relationship between Clara and Drosselmeyer beyond that of a kindly uncle. But is it inspired by Vainonen in the larger sense? I don't know and I haven't seen any articles or interviews that mention this distinction.
I doubt that any video will be made for sale. Of course the company has their own copies and on a local channel there was a half hour special that had snippets of it. I do wish that at least a book would be made with photos. If you can't tell, I'm a freak about the costumes. One reason I'm not a huge Balanchine fan - I *like* costumes!!! And story! All that Balanchine last season was tough on me. I'm not enough of a ballet purist to love dance for dances sake without the other frippery. (You should know that I didn't care a whit about ballet until my daughter got passionate. So I started taking her to performances and educating myself by reading books. Just like I go to my other daughter's soccer games and Aikido classes. So I can't pretend to be a real balletomane. In fact, I never know how to pronounce that word. )
Posted 21 December 2004 - 04:01 AM
Posted 21 December 2004 - 02:06 PM
Posted 27 December 2004 - 12:49 PM
I saw Pipit-Suksun dance snow queen Sunday (12/26, matinee). She is a lovely dancer but made a few technical mistakes and was generally less than vertical. She seemed to be making Stephan Legate work a bit too hard.
Otherwise a wonderful production. My compliments to Caroline Hearst as Clara. She hit the "girl between kid and adult" thing just right.
Posted 27 December 2004 - 06:36 PM
Posted 27 December 2004 - 10:25 PM
Caroline Hearst (opening night)
Lauren Foose (the one in all the TV and print ads - Helgi primarily
choreographed the role on her last summer - how cool is that?)
and the 16-year-old apprentice. I'm sorry, but I don't know her name.
I agree that Caroline did a great job.
Edited by sfshaza, 27 December 2004 - 10:31 PM.
Posted 29 December 2004 - 08:02 PM
I had friends in the audience for the 21st when the mouse king's head fell off. They said he dealt with it gracefully, but it's mentioned in this article.
Another friend of mine saw it today and he thought the orchestra was flawless. He said he couldn't remember hearing such a beautiful orchestra -- both his parents played in the SF Symphony orchestra years ago. He loved the new Nut, but he wanted to talk more about the orchestra.
Posted 01 January 2005 - 04:50 PM
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