Alexandra

Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center

29 posts in this topic

Bart, I still can't picture the MG...but I think I remember what you mean. Aren't the 'beaters' white-garbed commedia dell'arte figures, polichinellos? Italian Commedia dell'Arte (despite the 'comedy' in the name) could actually be quite brutal - slapstick brutality. Just as the Three Stooges of AmericanTV (I'm dating myself!) punched and slapped one another, in the Commedia dell'Arte manner. I took the polichinellos episode of Chemyakin to be a hearkening to Commedia dell'Arte. The polichinellos were trying to get their baby brothers to shut up & stop crying. The 'kids' in the Chemyakin Act I party scene were also quite nasty, except for Masha.

Eureka! I just realize that that's another connection that Ratmansky has made with the Chemyakin-Simonov version (which was originally his own first version): 'spoiled-brat kids' who stomp their feet and are quick to fight (see Act I party children of ABT...not at all the demure little darlings of traditional versions, with the exception of Clara/Masha).

p.s. I'm open to minimal sets...in new ballets. My favorite Ratmansky ballet -- Bizet Variations for the Georgian Ballet -- is danced against a plain backdrop. I love Ratmansky pdds and one-act works, in general.

Oh, I thought the men in white were butchers or bakers or something. Didn't think of them as Pulcinellos, but maybe they were. So maybe you all are right that it is a Commedia dell'Arte derived scene. I wrote in the other thread that I didn't think it looked like it. I will have to go back and re-watch it.

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p.s. about the performance that I attended (Kennedy Center Sunday night):

I don't know how I failed to mention my utter admiration for the lovely blonde corps lady who gallantly coped with a 'Wardrobe Malfunction' during the Waltz of the Flowers. About 3 minutes into the number, the white lower ruffle of her petalled skirt ripped-off about three-quarters of the way around the hem! While other ladies' skirts ended a couple of inches below the knees, this flower's hem dragged just about the floor. It's a miracle that she did not fall! Near the end, when the four 'darn bees' lift each flower one by one, our lady in distress gave us the widest smile imaginable -- there was no place to hide! -- and danced gloriously to the end. A perfect example of the old motto: "The show WILL go on!"

Your comments about the wardrobe malfunction at ABT reminded me of something tonight. I just came home from the NYCB Nutcracker transmission into movie theaters and I noticed that one of the snowflakes dropped her fluffy snowball hand thing. I was worried one of the dancers would slip on it or something so it was hard to watch the dancing for the remainder of the snow blizzard scene. Maybe it is soft and would not have messed anyone up if someone had stepped on it but you never know. I was worried for them. I kept thinking if one of the snow flakes stepped on it just right it might cause the dancer to slide. Luckily, that didn't happen.

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After going through the names of dancers listed as 'Flowers' in my playbill AND comparing with thumbnail photos in a 2011 MET season booklet, I believe that the heroic young lady who so gallantly coped with the stray ruffle was Lauren Post. Three cheers to Lauren!

If I were 'Haglund,' I'd give Lauren a 'Pump-Bump' Award. smile.png

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I lovd the Waltz of the Flowers when I saw it last year, and loved the Bees. I know others wanted something more traditional but I loved how the Bees made me hear the music as I had never heard it before.... And considering my age and how much we get bombarded with Nutcracker, that's really saying something...

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