Set against the backdrop of the 1897 Tennessee Centennial Exposition, Vasterling’s Nashville’s Nutcracker honors all of the traditional elements of the timeless ballet, while infusing young Clara’s holiday dreams with a variety of local landmarks and historical figures. First unveiled by Nashville Ballet in 2008, Nashville’s Nutcracker quickly endeared itself to local audiences.
This year’s production includes a rather remarkable new selection of magic tricks from Clara’s beloved Uncle Drosselmeyer — designed by acclaimed illusionist Drew Thomas. But as Nutcracker purists will agree, most of the onstage magic is provided by the dancers themselves.
Tuesday, December 13
Posted 13 December 2011 - 12:22 PM
Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:21 PM
Ballet choreographers have it easier. The language of ballet is universal and can be handily transplanted—works by Balanchine, Ashton, Robbins, MacMillan are on view everywhere. Earlier masters have slowly gone out of fashion, but there are still Fokine and Lifar and Nijinska spottings—the Paris Opéra Ballet, for instance, continues to pretend that Lifar matters—and of course the 19th-century classics endure. But each modern master creates his or her own language, so that when he or she is gone, the work is dangerously vulnerable. Certain modern masters like Doris Humphrey have essentially vanished. The Martha Graham company keeps coming back to greater or lesser effect, but the repertory exists and the performance tradition exists—sort of. The José Limon company is still valid, with some of his repertory intact. Paul Taylor works are performed everywhere, though rarely as wonderfully as his own company performs them; they’re not an endangered species, and—thank God—Mr. Taylor is still here to protect them and add to them, and to arrange a sensible future for them. But what will happen to the Cunningham rep? And does it matter?
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