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Nutcracker 2009


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#16 volcanohunter

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Posted 02 December 2009 - 08:38 PM

Handel's Messiah anyone?

He-he. Several years ago when my local symphony orchestra was soliciting subscriber opinions, I suggested performing Berlioz's L'enfance du Christ instead of Messiah some Christmas (on the grounds that Messiah should really be performed at Easter in any case). Not likely.

The question that eats away at me is somewhat different but still related to bart's: how to turn the people who pack performances of The Nutcracker into more frequent ballet-goers. Ditto for those who make an annual pilgrimage to the concert hall to hear Messiah.

#17 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 03 December 2009 - 06:36 PM

Me, I will see...

MCB's Balanchine...(not my favorite, but want to see all I can of Seay last performances before she retires)
Cuban Classical Ballet of Miami's Fedorova. (My favorite...always enjoy the complete SPF PDD, Pavlova's Snow PDD and the traditional waking up of Clara at the end.)
Ballet Etudes-(another "traditional" staging. Hoping to see Kowroski and Askegard in the SPF PDD like previous years)
Thomas Armour Youth Ballet. (with Riolama Lorenzo, Principal Dancer of Pennsylvania Ballet as the SPF)

...will have to play with the performances dates and venues. Let's see.

#18 JMcN

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 02:07 AM

..... though I'll supplement them with the Royal Ballet's very different version from 2001 .....



Birmingham Royal Ballet's version by Sir Peter Wright is ABSOLUTELY THE BEST EVER!! He made the ballet for Christmas 1990 as a gift to the City of Birmingham for the city's funding and support for the company to move from London to Birmingham.

This production has only been seen twice outside Birmingham - once at the Lyceum Theatre in London and once at the Lowry in its opening season. I've seen it every year from 1990 to 2009 and have never got tired of it. It has absolutely the best transformation scene EVER. The moment when the Rats appear from the fireplace never fails to send tingles down my spine. The duet for the awakened Nutcracker and Clara is so beautiful that you do not even realise the set has changed from the giant Christmas tree to a winter wonderland until the dancers realise it themselves.

This production is available on DVD with Miyako Yoshida and Irek Mukhamedov. It would be wonderful if it was filmed with some of the current casts. Carol-Anne Miller, Nao Sakuma and Chi Cao opened the season on Friday night (27th November) with a truly sublime performance. As one of my friends said the following day. Chi was not only on the music "he was the music".

Lucky ballet fans in Houston have a couple of opportunities to see Chi Cao in their Nutcracker season as he is guesting for four performances just before Christmas.

The RB production, also by Sir Peter Wright, is some years older. I find it hard to believe that these productions have been produced by the same person. I saw the RB one in 1986 and have never wanted to see it again!

Here is a link to a review of Sir Peter Wright's two versions:

http://www.telegraph...Nutcracker.html


Northern Ballet Theatre have been touring Christopher Gable/Massimo Morricone's production of A Christmas Carol. This is a real festive treat with gorgeous Victorian sets and costumes, a commissioned score by Carl Davies, some beautiful choreography and the dancers singing carols. It remains very close to the Charles Dickens story. (David Nixon has also made a delightful production of the Nutcracker for NBT, which I am hoping we will be able to see again next year). NBT will also be performing David Nixon's Peter Pan in Leeds over the Christmas period. This is a fantastic production for families with younger children.

JMcN - edited to add link to review

#19 Quiggin

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 11:36 AM

I wouldn't mind flying around in Santa's sleigh and seeing Cuban Classical Ballet version, the very English-style looking Nutcracker of the Royal Ballet and Balanchine's of Miami City Ballet and New York. In real life I shall see San Francisco Ballet's steadfast Nutcracker, probably a couple of times, the magic being in changing casts of dancers. Our version has a curious sort of Waltz of the Zinnias all in summer colors but nothing as wondrous as the raising of the Christmas tree of NYCB's.

Peter Wright Royal Ballet Nutcracker

#20 Helene

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 02:06 PM

Ballet Arizona's Paola Hartley and Daniel Marshalsay are guesting with Tallahassee Ballet, and Anthony Morgan, who is a professor at FSU and who dance with Martha Graham and is a modern dance choreographer, will portray Herr Drosselmeyer. I've seen Morgan's choreography for the Vancouver company Dancers Dancing, and Hartley and Marshalsay in Phoenix. I think Floridians are in for a very big treat.

http://www.tallahass...040301/1005/ent

#21 carbro

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 02:34 PM

... the traditional waking up of Clara at the end. ...

I don't know how "traditional" the awakening is. According to Mel's summary of [font="Verdana"] Ivan A. Vsevolozhsky's original libretto, no awakening is mentioned or even suggested ("[/font][font="Verdana"]A Grand Waltz for the entire kingdom ensues, after which the scene is transformed into illuminated fountains and a gigantic beehive is shown, with flying bees guarding the riches of the miraculous kingdom, over which Clara and her Prince reign forever")[/font][font="Verdana"].[/font] I don't know when or where Clara first awoke, but it seems consistent with Soviet Social Realism. Personally, I like magic (or ambiguity) in some ballets. :flowers:

#22 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 06:06 PM

You're right, Carbro, and I apologize for not being more specific. I should have referred to a "traditional ending in my own history of Nutcracker attendances and viewings...". See, Clara's awakening was the ending that I grew up with, and so I was kind of shocked when I saw the flying device for the first time. :excl:

Now, going a little deeper in my homework, I found Petipa's notes to Tchaikovsky, and this are his indications after the Sugar Plum Fairy variation.

Ninth Dance.
A Grand General Coda for everyone on the stage, including those who have already appeared in their dances.
128 bars, 3/4, very brilliant and ardent.


Tenth Dance.
Multicolored fountains. Lighted fountains, etc.
Grandiose Andante from 16 to 24 bars.


"Février 29. 1891. J'ai écrit cela; c'est très bon" .

:thumbsup:

#23 Helene

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 10:32 PM

Melody Herrera, whom I saw do a wonderful, wonderful Sugar Plum Fairy with her home company, Houston Ballet, last winter will perform with PNB's Lucien Postlewaite for the Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre; both are alumni. The run is from 18-20 December.

http://weekendsantac...ta-cruz-stages/

#24 Helene

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:46 PM

May all of your Clara/Maries be as exquisite as this one from 1984:



#25 richard53dog

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 06:20 AM

May all of your Clara/Maries be as exquisite as this one from 1984:



Just lovely! :pinch:

#26 bart

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 07:46 AM

I agree with Richard. But I did have to shut off the sound and watch it a second time. The lovely, young Healy and the magical Tchaikovsky did NOT benefit from the non-stop, annoying commentary from Mr. YapYap, or whoever he was. :pinch:

Helene, I appreciate your occasional links to ice dancing. I'm learning from this, as from earlier links to John Curry and Cathy Foulkes, that serious and committed ballet training makes for the loveliest ice skating, to my way of seeing things, and the freest and least effortful in appearance. Thank you.

#27 carbro

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 08:56 AM

:pinch:

The lovely, young Healy and the magical Tchaikovsky did NOT benefit from the non-stop, annoying commentary from Mr. YapYap, or whoever he was. :dry:

I've caught a few of the Grand Prix events this year and have deeply missed the discreet, tasteful and generally instructive voice of Dick (YapYap) Button.

Katherine's performance was part of a competition, so in context the commentary was appropriate. I much prefer Button's calm appreciation to the pitched cries of so many of the newer generation of skating commentators, such as Scott Hamilton screaming "NAILED IT!!!!!" :) as if "it" were the game winning grand-slam with two outs, full count, in the ninth inning. :shake:

#28 bart

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 10:02 AM

carbro, I appreciate (begrudgingly) your points and know that you are right. I also have to admit that I haven't watched skating for quite a while, so I've missed the latest developments. Speaking only for myself: with the sound off -- and with me humming the music, more or less -- the clip was even lovelier.

I wonder what something from Giselle or Swan Lake would be like if there was a non-stop voice-over. Perhaps its something to keep in mind for Varna or Jackson? :(

#29 sandik

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 02:23 PM

May all of your Clara/Maries be as exquisite as this one from 1984:


She is indeed quite lovely, and very restrained. I know it's unfair to compare her with contemporary skaters, who work in a very different environment, but this excerpt made me very nostalgic for John Curry and that whole school of thought in the skating world.

Does anyone know who created that solo for her? And what is she doing today?

#30 Helene

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Posted 09 December 2009 - 05:45 PM

Thanks to a lead from a poster on the Figure Skating Universe website on the Katherine Healy thread, according to the site of the American Dance Theatre Workshop, Healy is on the ballet faculty.


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