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Nutcracker 2009


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#1 sandik

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:26 PM

The eggnog is on grocery shelves, and the plastic turkey centerpieces are almost gone from the "seasonal" aisle in my local shops -- it must be Nutcracker time. So, are you going? And if so, which one are you seeing? Or is there an alternative work that you pledge allegiance to?

#2 volcanohunter

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 11:35 PM

Good question. I love the score, and it's usually been enough to get me to performances every year, no matter how often I've seen a given production. However, I dislike the new Nutcracker of my local company very much, so I was planning to skip it for the foreseeable future, much as I hate to pass up any live ballet.

No doubt I'll go to the movies to see the Royal Ballet feed, watch most Nutcrackers that come up on television, and top it off with DVDs of Nutcrackers that aren't being broadcast this year. I can't help myself.

#3 Helene

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 04:31 AM

Goh Ballet on the 18th. The PNB Stowell/Sendak "Nutcracker" on the 22nd.

#4 bart

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Posted 23 November 2009 - 10:28 AM

The folding of Ballet Florida has left a big Nutcracker void in our part of the world. Their huge and hugely popular Nutcracker filled the Kravis Center for 13 performances each year.

(I was looking forward to being, once again, a butler in the party scene. Now I'm just another of those unemployed artistes you hear about in bad economic times. On the other hand, the demand for servants across the Intercoastal in Palm Beach must still be strong. Surely Bernie Madoff didn't get everything. My periwig, jabot, and 18th-century livery must be hanging in storage somewhere. Hmmm. I wonder .... :) )

As a kind of replacement for Ballet Florida, the Kravis is bringing in the Moscow Classical Ballet for several performances, including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. I assume this is the Russian "adult" version, which means no kiddies. I've read good things about this company and can't wait. I just hope it sells.

The week before that, we're driving down to the Arsht Center for Miami City Ballet's Balanchine version, which I first saw at City Center when I was not much older than a kiddie myself. Because of my personal history, Balanchine is the "real" version for me. No matter what the rest of you say. :wink:

P.S. Helene, Alex Wong of MCB trained at Goh Ballet Academy and danced "with the company." I assume this included Nutcrackers, probably as a student. Any word on what he danced there?

#5 bart

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:01 PM

So what happened to this topic? :dunno: I know a few more than the three (count 'em) Ballet Talkers who have posted so far visiting the Nutcracker. :wink: Who else? And where?

#6 PeggyR

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 03:48 PM

San Francisco Ballet, December 19 (taking some friends, husband and wife; I got her to Swan Lake last year -- her first ballet -- and she loved it so she insisted on bringing her husband to Nutcracker this year: her reasoning is that he doesn't snore, so if he gets bored and falls asleep, he won't bother anybody :dunno:); possibly The Hard Nut in Berkeley on the 12th if the finances hold up.

#7 kfw

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 05:28 PM

. . .Balanchine is the "real" version for me.

His version is my favorite too, and since I can't make it up to NYC in December or into Washington next week for Pennsylvania Ballet, that means making do with the 1997 NYCB film, though I'll supplement them with the Royal Ballet's very different version from 2001 and San Francisco Ballet's from last year. And I love the excerpts ABT performed on a tiny stage at the White House in 2005, which C-Span recorded. But most of all I'm looking forward to watching Virginia Brooks' delightful 2006 film, "The Nutcracker Family: Behind the Magic," on NYCB Children's Ballet mistress Gabrielle Whittle and the children at SAB, and their long Nutcracker audition and rehearsal process.

#8 Ballet fan

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 05:46 PM

I can't believe it but ABT II is coming here to Costa Rica to perform The Nutcracker along with a national company at the National Theater. I'm really excited, and I already ordered my ticket. The performance is on December 3rd. I'll post again with a review of the performance.

#9 bart

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Posted 24 November 2009 - 06:15 PM

I can't believe it but ABT II is coming here to Costa Rica to perform The Nutcracker along with a national company at the National Theater. I'm really excited, and I already ordered my ticket. The performance is on December 3rd. I'll post again with a review of the performance.

What an amazing opportunity. I saw them here in south Florida a few seasons ago. I think you'll be impressed. Definitely tell us how the performance goes, Ballet fan.

#10 Helene

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 12:55 AM

Having missed PNB's Nutcracker for the first time in fourteen years last year because of the snow storm, these photos remind me of what I'm looking forward very much to seeing again:

http://erikaschultzp...tial-dress.html

The first one shows Liora Reshef, one of the most lovely dancers in the corps, to the left.

#11 Helene

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 06:46 PM

Is anyone planning to see Saratoga City Ballet? According to this article, former NYCB dancer William Otto, who teaches at the affiliated school, will dance Herr Drosselmeyer.

#12 bart

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Posted 30 November 2009 - 12:26 PM

Nutcracker news proliferates. :o American Ballet Theater is planning its own version, to be choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, to run head-to-head against NYCB's Balanchine version starting in 2010.
http://www.nytimes.c...n...1&ref=dance

Meanwhile, the NY Post an astonishing range of Nutcrackers, semi-Nutcrackers, Nutcracker knock-offs, Nutcracker parodies, postmodern Nutcracker critiques, etc., on its website.
http://www.nypost.co...Wz79pdXt05Sl6rJ

This raises the question: are there possibly TOO MANY Nutcrackers around, in the USA at least. I know that the main justification is that these are money-makers, that they tap a voracious audience demand. Dancers, musicians and theater people get work. Lots of companies make money. Successful Nutcrackers subsidize less popular work during the remainder of the season. There's a trickle-down effect when some audience members who loved the Nutcracker also purchase tickets to something else. So ... what's not to like?

But could there be a down side? "Too many Nutcrackers" may also mean -- too few revivals and new works making use of different music, expressing a different aesthetic, etc. It may also mean too little in the way of developing new audiences for for other kinds of work. In economic terms, focusing on one hugely profitable category -- for example, General Motor's gas-guzzling trucks of recent memory -- may stifle innovation and make a company less competitive in the long run. Look what happened to GM.

#13 sandik

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Posted 01 December 2009 - 10:55 PM

Ah, you have been channeling Sarah Kaufman from the Washington Post!

I tend not to think of Nut as a ballet so much as a holiday show, separate from the concerns I have for the art form at other times of the year. I don't know that there are too many Nuts per se, but I do know that almost every organization in my town, dance and otherwise, feels that they must have some kind of performing presence during the holidays, and that is a difficult proposition. It squeezes the audience into a tight spot, and puts a strain on the local venues. One of our local theaters lost their performance space to a fire early in November, and so they are doing the performance version of sleeping on other people's couches in order to do their holiday show.

In my particular part of the world, Pacific Northwest Ballet is the equivalent of the 800 pound gorilla with their Nutcracker -- it's really difficult to program against them. There are a few local dance groups, mostly kid and semi-pro, that do their own Nut, but they've had to find different ways to make a virtue out of a more modest production.

And tangentially, besides NYCB, Pennsylvania, Miami, and Oregon Ballet Theater, is there anyone else who performs the Balanchine Nut?

#14 mimsyb

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 08:16 PM

Ah, you have been channeling Sarah Kaufman from the Washington Post!

I tend not to think of Nut as a ballet so much as a holiday show, separate from the concerns I have for the art form at other times of the year. I don't know that there are too many Nuts per se, but I do know that almost every organization in my town, dance and otherwise, feels that they must have some kind of performing presence during the holidays, and that is a difficult proposition. It squeezes the audience into a tight spot, and puts a strain on the local venues. One of our local theaters lost their performance space to a fire early in November, and so they are doing the performance version of sleeping on other people's couches in order to do their holiday show.

In my particular part of the world, Pacific Northwest Ballet is the equivalent of the 800 pound gorilla with their Nutcracker -- it's really difficult to program against them. There are a few local dance groups, mostly kid and semi-pro, that do their own Nut, but they've had to find different ways to make a virtue out of a more modest production.

And tangentially, besides NYCB, Pennsylvania, Miami, and Oregon Ballet Theater, is there anyone else who performs the Balanchine Nut?

Until recently, Stamford City Ballet performed Balanchine's version.

#15 mimsyb

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 08:22 PM

Nutcracker news proliferates. :) American Ballet Theater is planning its own version, to be choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky, to run head-to-head against NYCB's Balanchine version starting in 2010.
http://www.nytimes.c...n...1&ref=dance

Meanwhile, the NY Post an astonishing range of Nutcrackers, semi-Nutcrackers, Nutcracker knock-offs, Nutcracker parodies, postmodern Nutcracker critiques, etc., on its website.
http://www.nypost.co...Wz79pdXt05Sl6rJ

This raises the question: are there possibly [size=3]TOO MANY Nutcrackers[/size] around, in the USA at least. I know that the main justification is that these are money-makers, that they tap a voracious audience demand. Dancers, musicians and theater people get work. Lots of companies make money. Successful Nutcrackers subsidize less popular work during the remainder of the season. There's a trickle-down effect when some audience members who loved the Nutcracker also purchase tickets to something else. So ... what's not to like?

But could there be a down side? "Too many Nutcrackers" may also mean -- too few revivals and new works making use of different music, expressing a different aesthetic, etc. It may also mean too little in the way of developing new audiences for for other kinds of work. In economic terms, focusing on one hugely profitable category -- for example, General Motor's gas-guzzling trucks of recent memory -- may stifle innovation and make a company less competitive in the long run. Look what happened to GM.


Are there too many "Swan Lakes"? "Giselles"? "Sleeping Beautys"? For that matter, almost everyone dances "Rubies" If produced and danced well "Nutcracker" definitely has it's place. Handel's Messiah anyone?


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