A review of the cinema and television broadcast of New York City Ballet's
Nutcracker by Robert Greskovic in The Wall Street Journal.
The only "Live From Lincoln Center" TV broadcast of a complete Balanchine ballet in the choreographer's lifetime was of "Coppelia" in 1978. It was said then that the balletmaster found the result disappointing—"dancing matchsticks," in his view. Balanchine might well have had a more positive reaction had he been able to see this month's big-screen HD transmission, with its large scale, sharp resolution and inspired direction (by Alan Skog).
On the wide screen of Theater 7 in New York's Union Square Stadium 14, for an overflow audience from Theater 5, the NYCB performance shimmered under the cameras' eyes and in the stage lighting's glow. The 51 children in this production, all rehearsed by the company and trained at its School of American Ballet, filled the screen with expressions of wonder as well as with radiance.