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sandik

Macaulay on NPR about Nutcracker Marathon

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Not sure if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but Alastair Macaulay was on NPR yesterday talking about his Nutcracker odyssey around the US -- brief but interesting.

Look here

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That's great! Thanks, sandik. Having experienced (via video) my own mini-Nutcracker-marathon this season, largely thanks to cubanmiami boys thread here on Ballet Alert, i thought the following exchange probably holds the key to this ballet's endudance.

RAZ: What do you think it is about this ballet, about this piece of music that Tchaikovsky produced that is so enduring and durable?

Mr. MACAULAY: "The Nutcracker" is simply great theater music. I think if you don't find yourself very interested about the Spanish dance, for example, in one performance, it doesn't matter because two minutes later, you're getting the Arabian dance, which is a completely different kind of instrumentation. Then you're getting the Chinese dance, and then you're getting the Russian dance. Later on, you're getting the waltz of the flowers.

Just as you think this is one kind of atmosphere, the whole climate changes and you're getting the big, round tragic [adagio] for the sugar plum fairy.

Productions and performance quality differ markedly from company to company. But the score -- whether played by a great orchestra or pumped out by a bad sound system -- endures, even when rearranged or cut by the choreographer.

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:speechless-smiley-003:

"RAZ: So, what is the weirdest one that you've seen?

Mr. MACAULAY: The weirdest, maybe one of the worst, which is called "Nutcracker: Rated R," which was in New York. It tried to be wacky, alternative, very sexy, very naughty. Occasionally, we'd get more or less bare breasts than mice and other characters. Their snow scene becomes a cocaine party with a snow queen passing around a white substance".

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