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Backstage at the Nutcracker...Documentary on NYCB children

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#1 Amy Reusch

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Posted 07 January 2006 - 09:45 PM

The Nutcracker Family: Behind the Magic
Virginia Brooks, U.S., 2006; 95m

Across the country every fall, ballet companies rehearse the season’s favorite, “The Nutcracker.” Director Virginia Brooks and producer Delia Peters give us an unprecedented inside look at the School of American Ballet’s children in the 2003 production of George Balanchine’s “The Nutcracker”™ with rehearsals, archival footage, and interviews with former Maries.
Introduced by the director.

I'd love to send you all out to see this, but unfortunately it seemed to have only one screening at the Dance On Camera festival. Hopefully it will available in the future. (I want my own copy!)

If you just saw the Ballets Russes movie, here's a dance institution on view from the youth perspective! ...though the discipline and focus of these young children has to be seen to be believed!

Plums: watching the children learn who will be Marie & Fritz; having the pantomime scene spelled out for you; seeing these kids up close in rehearsal reveals more than is apparent in performance when one tends to be distracted by the principals & soloists on stage; studio rehearsal footage of Somogyi & Boal; Somogyi being coached by Tallchief; 1970 dress rehearsal footage of Mr. B demonstrating movement.

I do hope this becomes available on DVD. I think any young child who has been a Nutcracker production would find it interesting to compare with their own experience.

It would be nice if NYCB would have the pantomime sequence available in it's reference resources on it's website. I wish some company would do a pantomime guide the way ABT has it's on-line dictionary. I know I have seen a Swan Lake pantomime image guides out there somewhere in still images, but seeing the gestures moving would be even better.

It would be nice if the library for the performing arts had a pre-performance showing of this video. Wouldn't it be a nice package to bring a child to? Particularly since you really want to see the ballet after seeing the video (and I thought I'd seen enough Nutcrackers to last me a lifetime several lifetimes ago by now!).

I'm so impressed by these kids, I look forward to seeing them on stage as they mature!

#2 Farrell Fan

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 09:11 AM

Thanks for posting this. I'm sorry I didn't see it at the Dance on Camera festival, particularly since the documentary's producer, Delia Peters, was one of the most charming NYCB dancers ever.

#3 Mel Johnson

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Posted 08 January 2006 - 10:00 AM

Delia spent years in the corps, and was known affectionately to the audience as the "corps de ballerina". She proved to be a great hit when she was finally allowed to step out and provide her own witty and intelligent approach to established roles. She was the NYCB "Hostess with the Mostess" at several galas, and has ever been one of the most popular and pleasing personalities in the NYCB system.

#4 Marga


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Posted 08 January 2006 - 02:03 PM

And continuing :cool: ....

How nice to see Delia Peters name mentioned! She was always a favourite of mine. I looked for her specifically every time the corps stepped onstage. I've sung her praises before on BT and it's great to be able to talk about -- and think about -- her again!

#5 Amy Reusch

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 12:51 PM

Here's a link to information on the film. When it's available for home video, no doubt they will post information at this site:

Backstage at the Nutcracker

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