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Nutcracker


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38 replies to this topic

#31 sandik

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Posted 27 November 2013 - 08:30 PM

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



#32 cobweb

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Posted 04 December 2013 - 06:36 PM

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!

#33 ord7916

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Posted 10 December 2013 - 08:46 PM

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.   



#34 Helene

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 10:47 AM

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.

"Seattle Times" published three photos of this year's "Nutty Nutcracker":

 

http://seattletimes....nutcracker.html

 

These are the type of things the dancers change.



#35 Paul Parish

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 09:47 PM

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.



#36 sandik

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 11:56 PM

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.



#37 Paul Parish

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 12:29 AM

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.


#38 brokenwing

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 06:31 AM

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. :)

#39 sandik

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Posted 27 December 2013 - 10:24 PM

 

... 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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