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Nutcracker 2012


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#1 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 09:15 AM

This are the scheduled performances of MCB's Nut. So...WPB doesn't get a run...? Never had in the past...? Posted Image That's a bit strange.



Naples Philharmonic Center
November 24-25, 2012
Friday, November 23 at 8pm
Saturday, November 24 at 2pm & 8pm
Sunday, November 25 at 2pm




Broward Center
December 14-16, 2012
Friday, December 14 at 7:30pm
Saturday, December 15 at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 16 at 1pm & 6:30pm



Adrienne Arsht Center
December 20-24, 2012
Thursday, December 20 at 7:30pm
Friday, December 21 at 2pm & 7:30 pm
Saturday, December 22 at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday, December 23 at 1pm & 6:30pm
Monday, December 24 at 1pm

#2 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 01:30 PM

"Like a Broadway spectacular,..." Why?!, I mean...why? Isn't the ballet idea so..."whatever" so the performance has to be compared to Brodway to be appealing...? Aggh...Posted Image

http://www.miamicity.../nutcracker.php

#3 Jack Reed

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 02:22 PM

It's another occasion to think that the marketers are trying to sell something they don't get themselves. Remember when they used the line, "More snow!" to promote The Nutcracker? I thought that was pretty lame at the time. They may be right, but since then, they've abandoned the PWB venue for Nutcracker. Maybe watching it snow just isn't an attractive concept to Floridians? (How would I know?)

For me, The Nutcracker is an all-Balanchine mixed bill, with corps numbers both cool and warm, character dances in many modes and moods, and a spectacular pas de deux in romantic style, not to mention doll-dancing and old-time children's games, all growing out of some of the most popular classical music written.

But as we know, ballet marketers won't go near people who already enjoy the kind of music most ballet is danced to, and won't try to tell people what to expect if they come. (They tell people it's hard. Going for the college-wrestling fans? How likely are they to come back? But, "get 'em in and hope they like it" is a quote from a marketer I talked to. Some strategy!) Some of the better critics do, though, bless 'em.

I'll credit the "Broadway" connotation with trying to lift Nutcracker out of the for-kids reputation it may have. In any case, this grown-up will be looking on during the Broward run you've posted.

#4 bart

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 04:55 PM

This are the scheduled performances of MCB's Nut. So...WPB doesn't get a run...? Never had in the past...? Posted Image That's a bit strange.


Miami had a brief run of Nutcrackers in West Palm Beach for several seasons a number of years ago. There were scheduling problems, however. Ballet Florida's own very effective and popular million-dollar production rented the Kravis Center for almost three weeks right before Christmas. That meant that MCB got stuck with a few performance dates in late November, which did not sell well.

After Ballet Florida folded, MCB brought the Balanchine version back for one or two seasons), but that too was early in the season. Ticket sales were disappointing, so the production has not returned..

For a couple of years, the Kravis has been presenting the Moscow Classical Ballet's touring Nutcracker right before Christmas. I've seen it once but will be passing on it in the future.

#5 Jack Reed

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 05:11 PM

For a couple of years, the Kravis has been presenting the Moscow Classical Ballet's touring Nutcracker right before Christmas. I've seen it once but will be passing on it in the future.


(Words of one syllable, as they say.)

So, come on down, bart!

#6 Birdsall

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:52 PM

This are the scheduled performances of MCB's Nut. So...WPB doesn't get a run...? Never had in the past...? Posted Image That's a bit strange.


Miami had a brief run of Nutcrackers in West Palm Beach for several seasons a number of years ago. There were scheduling problems, however. Ballet Florida's own very effective and popular million-dollar production rented the Kravis Center for almost three weeks right before Christmas. That meant that MCB got stuck with a few performance dates in late November, which did not sell well.

After Ballet Florida folded, MCB brought the Balanchine version back for one or two seasons), but that too was early in the season. Ticket sales were disappointing, so the production has not returned..

For a couple of years, the Kravis has been presenting the Moscow Classical Ballet's touring Nutcracker right before Christmas. I've seen it once but will be passing on it in the future.


I liked that Ballet Florida Nutcracker! One time when I went a guy proposed to one of the ballet dancers at the end and it made the front page of the Palm Beach Post. I wonder if that would make a front page today! LOL

#7 Birdsall

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Posted 04 December 2012 - 07:59 PM

"Like a Broadway spectacular,..." Why?!, I mean...why? Isn't the ballet idea so..."whatever" so the performance has to be compared to Brodway to be appealing...? Aggh...Posted Image

http://www.miamicity.../nutcracker.php


Same problem in opera, Cristian. Lyric Opera of Chicago had really silly phrases to describe each opera this season on its site (they seem to be removed now). I guess it was an attempt to make the operas sound "cool" and "relevant" to non-opera lovers. I really don't know what the thinking was. Just guessing. Marketing people are always trying to do this. I hate it too, but they are desperately trying to find what works to get people in the seats in a bad economy. They are not reaching out to someone who already loves the art form. They are trying to reach people who know nothing about it and might be tempted to try it. It is sad they are forced to resort to these tactics though.

#8 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 12:12 AM

It just looks so...cheap on the site.Posted Image

#9 Jack Reed

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

Is The Nutcracker for kids?

I've only just glanced at the Nutcracker page on the MCB web site Cristian calls attention to, and I hope to say more abut it, but meantime here's parts of another commentary on The Nutcracker, not Balanchine's actually, but Ivanov's, supposedly, presented by the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo in New York in 1944. It's a little heavy on Freud (which I've mostly left out for brevity's sake) and light on Tchaikovsky for me, but not much; and it may be "too intelligent" (*sigh*) for the general public today, even though it ran in the New York Herald Tribune at the time, so I don't propose it as a substitute for the MCB website's tedious long blurb, but as an antidote for that for us ballet fans. Of course, it's by the Tribune's regular dance critic in those days, Edwin Denby:

… … …

If you are curious about choreography, you find that the dance logic of The Nutcracker is solid and that the nonsense plot - its idea content - has a rational structure too. The intentions of The Nutcracker, when you catch on, are humane and sensible, and its 1890 formal method is highly intelligent.

What is the method? This is what happens on stage. The long first scene is a clear pantomime story. The dance is plain, realistic, without embellishments, it does not lead to leaps; it is all terre-a-terre. The second and third scenes, in contrast to the first, tell hardly any story; instead they are dancing that clearly looks like dancing, with steps in patterns, leaps and lifts, dancing with "elevation." The two dance scenes are made up of successive dance numbers, each with a beginning and an ending, each a set piece, all of them together arranged in a suite ending with an ensemble finale.

… … …

At the start of the piece, the effect of the pantomime scene - sadistic in content for all its upper-class Christmas-party manners - is gloomy and oppressed; the dancers don't really get off the floor. What a relief when the dancing begins with leaps and airy lifts in the next snow scene. But the choreography here preserves a coolness and remoteness that doesn't quite satisfy. The third, last scene is friendlier, lighter, more open to the audience, more animated, more playful in detail, and in the end there is a happy sense that everyone on the stage has leaped about freely and sufficiently. So they can all stop and smile straight at you, looking pretty without the least embarrassment.

And there is another unconscious satisfaction in the sequence of the dances. For the strictness of bodily control inherent in dance virtuosity, a strictness that grows more exacting as the dance becomes more animated and complex, seems at the end a satisfactory sublimation for the savagely cruel impulses suggested in the disturbing pantomime opening of the piece. And so The Nutcracker is really a dream abut Christmas, since it succeeds in turning envy and pain into lovely invention and social harmony.

… … ...


"[H]umane and sensible." Exactly. That is why I think The Nutcracker, one like this one anyway, is for adults. Today, more than ever. Kids may well be unhappy by intermission time, coming after the second scene. Their adult companions should know that the whole thing brightens up and gets happy. Does MCB's PR tell them that?

#10 Helene

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:11 PM

I find that the second act for kids needs to be over before the Grand Pas de Deux: Waltz of the Flowers seems to be their limit before the kicking and squirming and probably hunger start. Like clockwork last Sunday afternoon, a couple with a two-year old got up and left right then. (Sometimes, we're not so lucky.)

A lot of productions aim for the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" approach: loved by kids, but with enough smarts that the adults get it on another level.

#11 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:53 AM

Having grown with a derivative staging of The BRMC version, hence not with kids in mind, not a "show for the entire family" affair, I'm happy with the idea of conveying the weight of the ballet in people's minds around the three central ballerinas and their respective formal dances. Momentum keeps growing in the sense that Clara does dance less than Snow Queen, whom dances less than Fee Dragee. Actually the whole thing, the entire ballet becomes an anticipation that leads in relief to the Gran Pas, and the very design of the fairy not being present onstage just until the very end, makes her debut even more dangerous...the dancing couple KNOWS that they better put on an excellent show, for which all those balletomanes are essentially there for them-(for HER more than for him, actually...ballet is woman, let's remember...Posted Image )

#12 Jack Reed

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:06 PM

14th December, Friday evening, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Just back and fading, as the hour is late, but for me the highlights of Act I were Yann Trividic's Drosselmeier, performed with, among other things, wonderful flourishes and general mastery of the part, and the entire Snow Scene, generally enlivened by MCB's superb corps, and of Act II, Callie Manning's Coffee. Yes, I know, Sugar Plum Fairy and Dew Drop are supposed to be the hits of this Act, and as performed by the Delgado sisters, Patricia and Jeanette respectively, they were more than creditable - much more, including in particular Carlos Guerra as Patricia D.'s Cavalier - just as there were other very fine performances in Act I. This is MCB, after all, and Patricia D. in particular brought a lovely suppleness to her role right away in her early Variation, in addition to the evident strength both dancers have, but Manning's realization - of a simpler part, perhaps - seemed quite wonderful, even bringing to it an edge of wit at the last, so that I found it the most completely satisfying.

For distant lurkers unfamiliar with this production of Balanchine's ballet, I might mention an interpolation - after the end of the Snow scene, "Little Princess" and "Little Prince" as Marie and Fritz have become, according to a change of costume here and change of part name in the cast list for Act II, board a sleigh which is pushed off-stage audience right by Drosselmeier, who pantomimes skating movements. Their sleigh arrives upstage in Act II pushed out of the same wing by two dancers in brown, who look to be part of the "Hot Chocolate" cast.

How would it be if their sleigh came out of the audience-left wing in Act II? Would that tell us they had continued in the same direction and finally reached The Land of Sweets after travelling a great distance from the Pine Forest? The way it is shows the reality of what's happening: They're re-entering the same space after it's been changed; the fantasy is that they've reached a new place entirely, and fantasy is what this is all about. It's what we're here for. Give us more of it, Ms. Lopez!

Edited by Jack Reed, 16 December 2012 - 04:25 AM.


#13 brokenwing

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 11:37 AM

It's a little late, but the company has posted casting for Broward. Here is the link: http://miamicityball.../NewsPDF405.pdf

#14 Jack Reed

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:23 PM

Thanks for the link, brokenwing! Of course, like any cast list, it's a little out of date as soon as it's published: This afternoon's performance had Isanusi Garcia-Rodriguez subbing for Renan Cerdeiro in "Hot Chocolate", for one example. But I'm glad to see it, anyway: Arja's and Lauren's "Sugar Plum"! That's interesting, and I'm looking forward to a couple more of Charles Swatosh's "Mother Commedias" - he looked very good again it it this afternoon - and Yann Trividic's "Drosselmeiers", too. Guerra as "Drosselmeier" looks like casting against type, so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

This afternoon's "Drosselmeier," Didier Bramaz, disappointed only a little by comparison with Trividic's last night, I thought. Then again, I chose to sit in the center of the Mezzanine, a little far, but very good for appreciation of the patterns in the Snow scene and the Waltz of the Flowers, not to mention the party scene. And it helped a lot for appreciation of Tchaikovsky's great music too - it sounded much better from upstairs than it did from row Q in the Orchestra.

#15 cubanmiamiboy

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:56 PM

See you tomorrow, Jack..! Posted Image


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