Jump to content


Nutcrackering


  • Please log in to reply
20 replies to this topic

#1 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,009 posts

Posted 22 November 2005 - 09:17 PM

I know in the past we've had a grab-bag Nutcracker thread where we could discuss the various productions we've been seeing (rather than filing them all away neatly under the individual companies) -- would anyone be interested in that again?

#2 greyhound

greyhound

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 7 posts

Posted 24 November 2005 - 06:34 PM

Abigail Francisco School of Classical Ballet, along with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra present the Nutcracker. Featuring Sascha Radetsky, Soloist with ABT, as the Cavalier & Stephanie Walz, Soloist with Maximum Dance Company in Miami, as the Sugar Plum Fairy.

December 3rd & 4th at the Mary D. Harrison Cultural Arts Center in Owings, Maryland. This is not your average Ballet School performance.

abigailsclassicalballet.com

Edited by greyhound, 24 November 2005 - 06:36 PM.


#3 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,009 posts

Posted 25 November 2005 - 04:34 PM

Abigail Francisco School of Classical Ballet, along with the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra present the Nutcracker. ...This is not your average Ballet School performance.

abigailsclassicalballet.com

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Once you've seen this, could you report back to us about why you feel the way you do -- since most of us don't live in your neighborhood we're not going to be able to see for ourselves...

#4 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 30 November 2005 - 02:12 PM

An intriguing Nutcracker from Key West Ballet is reported in the December Dance Magazine.

Appropriate to the Keys, this Nut is set in (or around) a coral reef with sailors (toy soldiers), tiny shrimp (Mother Ginger's brood), snowy egets, sea creatures, moonbeans, chickens instead of mice, and -- WENDY WHELAN AND NICOLAJ HUBBE !!!!.

Sounds like quite a show.

#5 sandik

sandik

    Rubies Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,009 posts

Posted 30 November 2005 - 10:44 PM

An intriguing Nutcracker from Key West Ballet is reported in the December Dance Magazine.

Appropriate to the Keys, this Nut is set in (or around) a coral reef with sailors (toy soldiers), tiny shrimp (Mother Ginger's brood), snowy egets, sea creatures, moonbeans, chickens instead of mice, and -- WENDY WHELAN AND NICOLAJ HUBBE !!!!.

Sounds like quite a show.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


What do you suppose the Sugar Plum Fairy is?

#6 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 01 December 2005 - 11:07 AM

What do you suppose the Sugar Plum Fairy is?

A mermaid, with ankles tied together? Lots of hops on pointe, but limited extensions.

#7 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,571 posts

Posted 02 December 2005 - 11:59 AM

With all of the guest appearances that happen during Nutcracker season, it would be great and much appreciated for Ballet Talkers to post reviews of those performances :beg:

#8 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 02 December 2005 - 02:31 PM

More on the Key West Nutcracker (from the Dec.-Jan. Pointe Magazine):

Wendy Whelan will portray the Sea Fan Fairy. Her Cavalier (Hubbe) remains a Cavalier.

Budget is $400,000, witha total of 8 professional dancers from out of the area. Egret feather skirts were made in Chicago. Sea anemones, starfish and sea sprites were made in Vermont. At the start of the dream sequence, it's tropical vegetation -- incluidng a Norfolk pine -- that grows to fill the stage.

This article also answers the perplexing question I had about those chickens. Apparently Act I takes place on land, so chickens are plausible replacements for the mice. Only Act II takes place underwater. Clara reaches it in a diving bell.

#9 Hans

Hans

    Sapphire Circle

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,104 posts

Posted 04 December 2005 - 09:56 PM

Ok, I know this is bad, but I just have to ask--does Spongebob make an appearance? :wink:

#10 Boomer

Boomer

    New Member

  • New Member
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 09 December 2005 - 03:50 PM

My boyfriend, Matthew Geiger, is dancing the role of the Egret Prince (which would be snow king) in this production...I am eager to find out more about the production and report it to all who are curious (yup, I got stuck at home in the snow!). Thus far it sounds like they are all having a fantastic time; the artistic director wants this production to become a tradition, and possibly even tour it in the coming years. I can't get you a review from the audience, but I can get one (via phone) from the wings! It's definitely a wild experience for many of the dancers, I hear...nice break from the usual victorian theme.

#11 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,310 posts

Posted 09 December 2005 - 05:57 PM

Would love to hear impressions and reviews. The possible plans for future touring -- not to mention the large potential audience of winter tourists -- might explain what was for me the rather puzzlingly high budget for a local production.

#12 amitava

amitava

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 123 posts

Posted 11 December 2005 - 07:09 AM

I know in the past we've had a grab-bag Nutcracker thread where we could discuss the various productions we've been seeing (rather than filing them all away neatly under the individual companies) -- would anyone be interested in that again?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I have seen only two major productions of the Nut. My first time ever was in 2004 of Ballet Austin. I got to see it again in 2005.

The only other company's Nut I have experienced is the Metropolitan classical Ballet's version (previously Arlington Ballet) in Fort Worth. Since they have two artistic directors and one of them is from Russia, they present a Russian version which is slightly different in terms of the story. The general idea remains the same.

I missed Ben Stevenson's version of Houston Ballet and the Texas Ballet Theatre this year, due to conflicts, but will catch it next year hopefully. I have yet to see the Balanchine Nut - which I will probably catch on DVD. Any recommended version?

The Moscow Ballet tours the Nut in Texas every year, but I was given the impression that the production was not impressive.

To be honest I have not yet seen a nut just as an audience member - I am always behind the camera. One of these days, I need to make the effort to see a new Nut without my camera.

So far I have liked different aspects of the two different productions. Since the Russian version (Met Classical) is danced with a lot of Russian dancers, I am enchanted by their form, especially in Act II. Stephen Mills's version in Ballet Austin uses Corps work differently. Since I have seen the Nut only three times total so far, the magic has not worn out yet. I would be hard pressed to indicate which I liked better.

One thing I have noticed is that different dancers seem to give a different feel to the same production. Therefore it is one of those productions that I learn the art of appreciation from easily. It is repeated every year, unlike other production that one may see by the same company every few years.

Please let know which DVD Balanchine version are good ones. Thanks

#13 amitava

amitava

    Senior Member

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 123 posts

Posted 11 December 2005 - 07:18 AM

I did forget one thing. BA has a tradition of having guest Mother Gingers (non dancers from the community)...It is interesting to see how well they do the job! You may recognize some name..while other's are probably limited to local fame.

2005 Mother Gingers include:
Richard Buckley, Artistic Director, Austin Lyric Opera
Brig. Gen. Christopher Tucker, Fort Hood
Nyle Maxwell, Mayor of Round Rock, TX
Turk Pipkin, Actor
Sarah Butler, Philanthropist and Civic Leader
Will Wynn, Mayor of Austin
Tom Meredith, Philanthropist and Civic Leader
Marcia Ball, Singer / Songwriter
Karen Kuykendall, Actress / Singer
Sandy from JB & Sandy Show
Melissa Gale, KVUE Daybreak and Midday anchor

Any other company have unusual aspects to the Nut?

#14 BalletNut

BalletNut

    Silver Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 573 posts

Posted 11 December 2005 - 12:20 PM

Please let know which DVD Balanchine version are good ones.  Thanks

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


As far as I know, there is only one Balanchine Nut on DVD, and that is the Warner Brothers version with Darci Kistler, Damian Woetzel, Kyra Nichols, and...Macaulay Culkin. Apart from the saccharine narration and Culkin's awkwardness, it is an excellent film, and is probably very widely available to rent or purchase (by clicking on our Amazon link, of course :innocent:.)

If there are other films of the complete Balanchine Nutcracker out there, most likely they haven't been commercially released in their entirety, if at all.

Hope that helps!

#15 Helene

Helene

    Administrator

  • Administrators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,571 posts

Posted 11 December 2005 - 07:55 PM

I saw Olympic Ballet Theatre's performance of The Nutcracker at Meany Hall on the campus of the University of Washington. The cast was a mixture of students from the school -- they looked like they ranged in age from 8 or 9 to late teens, possibly early 20's -- professionals from several companies in the region, including Spectrum Dance Theater and danielandsomesuperfrieds, and three featured dancers, Andrea Long, Principal Dancer with Dance Theatre of Harlem, former NYCB dancer Darius Crenshaw, and LINES Ballet's Aesha Ash. I'm not sure who the male party guests were.

The choreography was a mix of complexity from the simple choreography of the Russian dance, which featured eight young boys, through the Balanchine choreography for the Sugar Plum Fairy/Cavalier pas de deux. The first act party scene was as detailed as any fully professional company's I've seen, but it was scaled to a smaller stage and a small-sized cast. There were choreographic choices that were unusual and fun, such as Clara being partnered and lifted in short sections by the Snow King, Drosselmeyer, and the Cavalier; Clara being transported in her sleigh by four "reindeer;" and a pas de trois for the two maids and the butler during the party scene. There were choices inspired by necessity: without a young prince -- the Nutcracker, an adult dancer, becomes the Snow King and there is a Cavalier in the second Act -- a Harlequin and Colombine act out the Mouse King and Nutcracker in what is traditionally the Prince's mime scene; because there were only six Flowers, small groups of dancers were featured one after the other; and there were mime and comical situations co-mingled into dances performed by some of the younger dancers, like Tea. Not every choice was successful: for example, there was no soldier, and the soldier's music became a pas de deux for the two dolls, which was a bit cramped and not particularly interesting, and a dance for the party men, with Drosselmeyer was on the stiff side.

Regardless of age, quality varied, which is to be expected from dancers of various levels, but the commitment from the Company, particularly the students, was evident throughout the performance. The students in the Dance of the Flowers and Marzipan were accomplished and lovely. The "borrowed dancers" were terrific: Hannah Lagerway as the Snow Queen, Peter de Grasse as Nutcracker, Snow King, and Arabian Coffee , Emmerich Schollgruber -- a bit conservative as the Harlequin doll, but a scene stealer as the Mouse King -- and Danielle P. Wilkins, who amazed as Arabian Coffee. Andrea Long as Sugar Plum looked like she was doing not much more than marking, and after the energy of the six young women in Waltz of the Flowers, was disappointing in the Balanchine pas de deux. (The SPF variation was performed as the second variation in the pas de deux, not earlier in the Act.) Darius Crenshaw picked up energy during his variation and the coda, and his beautiful turnout was evident in sweeping glissades and the beautiful position of his working leg in pirouettes.

I looked up Olympic Ballet Theater's mission statement on their website:

"Olympic Ballet Theatre seeks to:

* Develop new audiences for theatre dance by producing high quality classical and original ballets.
* Attract young audiences through special programming with lively, familiar, story dances.
* Draw mature audiences by featuring world-renown artists in local productions.
* Offer professional opportunities to dancers, choreographers, and designers in the Puget Sound area.
* Foster commununity collaboration.
* Maintain a secure funding base from which to operate."

While I can't speak to their financial situation, what I saw this afternoon met the rest of the company's goals quite splendidly.


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):