ord7916

Nutcracker

39 posts in this topic

That's because Balanchine's version is much more popular. To get an optimal look at his group dances, such as the battle scene and the snowflakes, I wouldn't advise getting orchestra seats anyway. An elevated view is preferable.

And for many people, easier to get to whether you're taking public transportation or driving. NYC's public transportation system and roadways were designed to get people in and out of Manhattan from the outer boroughs and the suburbs. If you live in New Jersey -- or even in parts of Queens and Brooklyn -- getting to BAM can be a real challenge.

And yes -- don't sit in the orchestra! And don't worry about sitting off-center in the rings, either -- the view is just fine. (Although you might want to avoid the pairs of seats that run along the sides of the rings.)

The sight lines in BAM's opera house aren't as good as those in The Theatre Formerly Known as State -- you have to be more careful when choosing your seats there.

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Aww I like the fluffy multi-layered flower dresses. Think they're much less offensive when the flowers are dancing. You get to see the layers fluffing up and down and take on a life of its own. Much like Ginger Rogers' famous "feathers" dress in Top Hat.

those dresses are iconic NYCB Karinska designs. No way no how no change!

You are lucky that my chances of holding a winning Powerball ticket are less than zero. wink1.gif

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It seems like most companies that do a Nut have taken this idea and devote one of their performances to a prankish version. PNB's "Nutty Nutcracker" is December 24 this year.

I believe it's called doing "a green show". At least that's how I've heard it described by some Russian dancers. I saw a production many years ago by the Moscow Ballet (not Bolshoi) and the snowflakes all held kleenex tissues in their fingers! Pretty weird!

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I thought NYCB had closed off the Fourth Ring recently. Or is popular Nut the exception?

Thanks to Kathleen O'Connell for the account of the Ratmansky one, which reminds me why I put it out of my mind soon after it appeared.

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Do you recommend sitting higher up for this production specifically or for ballets in general? Having sat in various sections, I've found its hard to appreciate from higher up, though of course the music sounds better.

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Take a look at this thread about the recent NYT article on the subject -- it covers the topic pretty well.

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I look forward to any performance reviews! I see several notable debuts coming up: Indiana Woodward as marzipan, Emily Kikta as Coffee, Ashly Isaacs as Dewdrop, and I'm very excited to have a ticket for Ashley Laracey's Sugarplum!

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Well, here is my review. I followed everyone's advice and chose NYCB over ABT and sat in the first row of the third ring. Definitely better sight lines than at the Met.

Highlights were the tea scene with Antonio Carmena and the Candy Canes led by Daniel Ulbricht; Tiler Peck as Dewdrop; and the pas de deux with a great Rebecca Krohn and Amar Ramasar, who was my reason for going tonight (didn't realize he'd only be onstage for five minutes, but so be it.)

What I liked less was the first act where there is so little dancing. I can appreciate that giant X-Mas tree and the snow, but I'd rather see some great dancing as opposed to pantomime and children running around and jumping up and down. I'll also never understand why some adults cannot sit for an hour without chomping on M&M's, chatting, rattling plastic bags and checking their email (all the same person). But that is another matter.

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Thanks for posting, Helene! All of them are adorable -- but the thing that struck me is how great Sendak's designs are -- I'd forgotten, he makes Drosselmeyer look like Voltaire -- that's him the most gleeful of all at the popped crazy-string can moment. With his white wig, he's a gentleman of the 18th century who's lived into the Biedermeyer period and has had to scale down all his hopes for Enlightenment [but Voltaire had already done that in Candide -- what more like cultivating your garden than doing brilliantly subversive things for your godchild, to stimulate her imagination to hope for more than the Familienkreis -- though, indeed, in that period of the restoration of all the monarchies, and their secret police, the family circle was the only safe place in which to espouse the values of universal human rights. Sendak's designs are VERY soundly based -- and yet, there's no need to go beneath the surface to find them satisfying. But they are subversive, in the nicest possible way.

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Thanks for posting, Helene! All of them are adorable -- but the thing that struck me is how great Sendak's designs are -- I'd forgotten, he makes Drosselmeyer look like Voltaire -- that's him the most gleeful of all at the popped crazy-string can moment. With his white wig, he's a gentleman of the 18th century who's lived into the Biedermeyer period and has had to scale down all his hopes for Enlightenment [but Voltaire had already done that in Candide -- what more like cultivating your garden than doing brilliantly subversive things for your godchild, to stimulate her imagination to hope for more than the Familienkreis -- though, indeed, in that period of the restoration of all the monarchies, and their secret police, the family circle was the only safe place in which to espouse the values of universal human rights. Sendak's designs are VERY soundly based -- and yet, there's no need to go beneath the surface to find them satisfying. But they are subversive, in the nicest possible way.

Thank you so much for this commentary -- I've read a great deal about Nut as an evocation of family life, but hadn't really thought about its place in a transition from the Enlightenment. If I'd had to place it, I might have thought more about the elements of Romanticism, especially the power of nature (and the Orientalist touches in the Sendak designs), but your Enlightenment reference gives me something else to think about.

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Sandi, I've just kinda pieced this together myself, don't know where to send you for references -- but after the fall of Napoleon, it became dangerous to espouse "Liberty, Equality, and fraternity!" All the monarchies of Europe were restored, each with a very conservative government and a secret police ready to send outspoken liberals to prison. Some of the spookiness in ETA Hofmann comes from the atmosphere of terror which suddenly clamped down.

"Prince Metternich's anti-liberal crusades began to put Hoffmann in situations that tested his conscience. Thousands of people were accused of treason for having certain political opinions, and university professors were monitored during their lectures." [that's from Wikipedia] ALthough he was a civil servant working for the courts [as well as a composer, novelist, and journalist], he could not resist caricaturing the bigwigs, and they went after him.
Napoleon fell in 1815; Nutcracker and hte Mouseking was written in 1816; Sandmann [Coppellia] was written in 1817. He died just a few years later, in 1822.

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All the talk of doing away with Karinska's flower costumes is practically sacrilegious! I love the muted shades of lilac and rose and the way the tulle cascades in the moments that echo the Rockettes. I also can't say I know of any other version of Balanchine's Nut (PA, MCB, CPYB, OBT) where I found the costumes to be anything other than unflower-like or even flat out hideous. They also rob the demis of any distinction, another mistake.

Just my opinion, of course. To each his own. :)

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... ALthough he was a civil servant working for the courts [as well as a composer, novelist, and journalist], he could not resist caricaturing the bigwigs, and they went after him.

Napoleon fell in 1815; Nutcracker and hte Mouseking was written in 1816; Sandmann [Coppellia] was written in 1817. He died just a few years later, in 1822.

Hoffmann certainly wore multiple hats -- in that, he reminds me of Gautier. I hadn't put two and two together about the fall of Napoleon and these stories -- even more to think about!

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