Webre's new Nutcracker (premiere tonight!)
Posted 14 December 2004 - 08:28 AM
I know I am going to be out numbered here when I say this but for me this was the big negative: I did not like Dew Drop (Erin Mahoney), though I do not blame her. I felt the choreography was too fast, and busy for such a gracious engaging role. It was so awkward. I also felt that when Clara got the Nutcracker it wasn't a "magic moment" as it is known to be. It was just sort of handed to her.
My favourite part was the snow scene. While in most productions it usually is I really loved this one. I was really excited to see Maki Onuki as the Snow Queen. She is a strong dancer and I am glad to see she has moved up quickly. While this is random I absolutley died when I saw that Snow Queen tutu I haven't stopped talking about it. It was gorgeous.
The sweets were very creative only weak one being the spanish(or what ever it was called I do not have the program with me). I was really impressed with Fritz. He was amazing I could not believe he was seven years old. My mother who saw the Sunday Matinee loved the clowns and the huge carousel part, I felt I needed to mention that because to her that was very exciting and she sounded like a little kid hehe .
I hope I get a chance to see it again though after seeing seven shows of Joffrey, 11 + of my own, I think I have offically made the record for most Nutcrackers ever seen by one person. It really turned out well. Mr. Webre really knows how to tell a story with beautiful sets that come straight out of your wildest dreams, and with his company and all their unique abilities, created a show that stretched beyond the imagination. Yay for Washington!
Posted 14 December 2004 - 12:21 PM
I also wanted to slip in a quick welcome to Tammy. Thank you for delurking! I hope we'll hear more from you.
This production has given us two new voices (so far); what a lovely Christmas present!
Posted 18 December 2004 - 09:48 AM
Heres my take on it:
The beautiful sets and costumes. I loved them all (see below for my few exceptions) and was glad to see that the production did not scrimp on them. The dresses in the party scene were gorgeous, bustles and all.
The children in the production were absolutely wonderful. Mariana Olaizola danced Clara and Timothee Courouble danced Fritz I had seen both of them in rehearsal and was glad that they ended up dancing the night I went. The little mice were among the most adorable creatures that I have ever seen, the soldiers in the battle scene were perfect. They received a spontaneous burst of applause for their marching and formation. The clowns esp. the little one were hilarious.
The four animals in the second act (fox, squirrel, deer frog) that enter and then watch from the side seemed were not necessary yet still added a great deal to the ballet. They were so adorable I wanted to jump on stage and hug one and they remained in character the entire time they were watching the performance. Little touches like that made this Nutcracker truly magical for me.
The Anacostia pdd was one of the highlights of the second act. Laura Urgelles and her partner (Alvaro Palau?) Were mesmerizing. Coffee is usually my favorite of the divertissements, so I was a bit nervous before it began, thinking that Anacostia Indians was such a random choice, but I did like it.
Maki Onuki and esp. Brian Malek were a wonderful surprise as Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier. I have not seen either in any big roles, so I was a little disappointed when I heard that they would be dancing the most important pdd in the production, but I ended up falling in love with them. Brian Malek who just graduated from North Carolina School of the Arts last year was amazing. He struggled just a tad in the lifts, but he was a very attentive partner otherwise and took my breath away in the variations. He has beautiful pirouettes and an incredible lightness to his jumps. I hope to see more of him in the near future!
The little comic touches that made the ballet such a joy to watch, esp. in the party scene.
The failure to identify the dancers for each night in the program. I had nose-bleed seats (Ive spent too much money on holiday presents, it seems, so I abandoned my usual place in the orchestra) and even with binoculars I could not identify some of the dancers, esp. the students. I am a HUGE fan of Michele Jimenez in my eyes she can do no wrong, even when perhaps she is not the best suited to the role but she had the night off. I guess I should have checked in advance ...
The dancers in the snow scene and, to a lesser extent, in the waltz of the cherry blossoms, sound like horses when they came down from jumps. I cant remember the last time I saw a ballet performance when the corps was so incredibly loud. It completely ruined the magic of the snow scene for me falling snow does NOT make that kind of noise.
Speaking of the snow scene I did not like it. I expect quite a bit (too much?) from this scene because it is what made me fall in love with the ballet when I first saw it live about 6 years ago. I expect it to be absolutely magical, and the choreography just did nothing to capture that for me. I felt it was too mechanical. I like Laura Urgelles and Alvaro Palau as the Snow Queen and King, but otherwise the scene fell flat. The costumes were also way too blue. White or silver are snow, blue is water.
Where was the cat? I saw some rehearsals with the cat in the cardinal dance and liked the concept quite a bit.
Parents who let their crying children continue watching the performance. I know the Nutcracker is a family ballet and all, but I still pay the same price to see it (well, not this time since I had cheap seats, but you get my point).
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