This bright-spirited production, from Salt Lake City’s exceedingly handsome ballet company, is sanctified by history, and deservedly so. Choreographed by Willam Christensen in 1944, it was America’s first full-length “Nutcracker” ever. Yes, folks, imagine a day when no one knew the story of young Clara and the transformative gift from her godfather, when its music did not plink from every shopping mall. Then Christensen’s ballet comes along, with its domestic charms and wartime uplift, and it’s no wonder that eventually, the “Nutcracker” phenomenon spread like a virus. If only the ensuing plethora had hewn to Christensen’s unerring feeling for art as well as entertainment.
Thursday, December 6
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:38 PM
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:40 PM
Pro guests: This year's guest artists are members of Balleteatro Nacional De Puerto Rico.
“I'm very excited about the guest artists from Puerto Rico, Marena Perez and Daniel Ramirez,” Pergament says. “Every year we get guest artists from around the world to inspire the current dancers. And the audience enjoys the level of professionalism.”
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:41 PM
Kids, mice, soldiers, fairies and cavaliers will be in full regalia this weekend and next as performances of “The Nutcracker” get started in earnest throughout the Birmingham metro area. Among the variety of productions are a “Chocolate” Nutcracker, Balanchine's “The Nutcracker,” a “Mutt-cracker” with canine stars, and just plain everyday Nutcrackers.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:43 PM
The familiar ballet opens with the Victorian family, Herr and Frau Stahlbaum (Mike Ramsey and Melissa Roberts), hosting a Christmas Eve party in their home. Their young daughter, Clara (Jenna Large) and her mischievous little brother, Fritz (Ben Carrier), are surprised by their godfather, Herr Drosselmeyer (Derek Ralston), who is known for his mysterious gifts.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:44 PM
Both dancers understudied their bigger roles last year, but did not perform them in 2011. Both found that experience extremely helpful to them this year.
“I didn’t have to learn the steps, but to perfect them,” Meindersee said. “I had something to build on and could add character. I had danced as a Snowflake, but I never really knew how much is going on in that scene until I did Snow Queen. Fritz and Clara are running around in this crazy snow storm having a great time. I play a part in their comedy. I’m the one in complete control, leading them through the land of snow so the don’t get lost, and laughing at their playfulness.”
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:46 PM
In Ballet Nouveau's classic rendition of "The Nutcracker," Artistic Director Garrett Ammon aimed to channel Clara's wide-eyed, imaginative youth by placing children front and center of the production. The Broomfield-based ballet company will perform the ballet beginning Friday.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:48 PM
The Joffrey Ballet is about as American as an institution gets. "Homeland"s Mandy Patinkin narrates its incredible success story in a new PBS documentary, showcasing its humble beginnings and its rise as a worldwide brand.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:49 PM
Central West Ballet: A cast of 100 will perform the ballet this year with two 11-year-old sixth-graders alternating in the role of Clara: Izabella Duran-Soriano, a student at Connecting Waters Charter, and Morgan Turner, who attends Ustach Middle School.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:50 PM
The costumes for the dolls aren't anywhere near as detailed as those created by master costume designer Luisa Spinatelli, but Smathers said they are detailed enough to be recognizable.
"When you're trying to tell a story in a ballet, and especially if the audience for this particular ballet will include a lot of children, it's important to make everything as clear as you can," said choreographer Bruce Wells, whom Tulsa Ballet artistic director Marcello Angelini brought to Tulsa to rework portions of the company's "Nutcracker."
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:51 PM
Whether your perspective is long and global or shorter and strictly parochial, Giselle is historic; which is just the way a sizeable if perhaps greying segment of the National Ballet’s loyal audience loves it. No intellectual pretensions. No bodies twisting and contorting like pretzels in a surfeit of modernism. Everything familiar and dependable.
In Wright’s staging, based on Giselle’s 1841 original and its late 19th-century Russian derivative, everything unfolds with commendable narrative clarity and a minimum of fuss and bother, from its disarmingly cheery beginning to its tearful finale two hours later.
Posted 06 December 2012 - 12:53 PM
After four years of taking studio portraits for the New York City Ballet, Leutwyler was given an all-access pass to capture just that—the spirit of dance, from rehearsal to curtain call. The photographs, taken with his 35mm Leica camera, along with his studio portraits, can now be seen in his book Ballet, published by Steidl, and accompanying exhibition at the Foley Gallery.
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:00 AM
Being the daughter of a former star ballerina when you’re just starting out in the competitive field of classical ballet isn’t easy. All three of these daughters have been training since they were very young; all live away from home in apartments in the city so they can get to daily classes; and all have decided to bypass or postpone college to focus on dance, with two completing high school online. All three hope to get a contract with Ballet Theater. The sacrifices and pressures are real, but having a mom who knows what it takes to succeed helps.
“I know how hard it is; I’m not like the moms who don’t know, who think it’s very glamorous,” said Ms. Yeager, who spent 18 years with the company, beginning in 1976. “I know what’s driving her. I understand why she wants to do it. And you can’t want any more for your children than for them to do what they love.”
Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:06 AM
The Nutcracker will be the first full-length ballet Gabay has choreographed, although she has choreographed other pieces for Ballet San Jose, as well as for her own side project, Pointe of Departure, a company that she founded with fellow Ballet San Jose principal dancer Raymond Rodriguez. Pointe of Departure also features some dancers from Ballet San Jose.
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