So I woke up at 12:00 and made up my mind to go watch the 1 PM performance, and so I did-(yes..I'm pretty fast! ;-) )
The house was FULL of youngsters, and I'm not particularly patient, so I thought "disaster". But no...considering the huge amounts of little ones, the music could be heard.
I took a reflective stand today while watching the performance. I went back in time, and looking at all those kids I thought of how lucky they are that they are being exposed at such early age to this little gem. Growing up in the middle of the cold war in communist Cuba, with Christmas suppressed as a national holiday long before my time, the only taste I had of the yearly celebration was in a very enclosed catholic church environment, where only very few kids attended out of the generalized fear of their parents at being discovered. I still had glimpses of what Christmas used to be in the old regime out of stories from my mother and beautiful mid-century postcards that still survived at home. There was an old Christmas tree hidden, but that too was a no-no as a symbol of the "bad bourgeoisie" /Batista era. So I think it is just wonderful that Christmas can be publicly celebrated. Let's not loose that.
One thing I paid attention this time is how well the "Sleeping Beauty" violin cadenza segment fits into the score right before the Battle scene. It is no surprise to find the music theme of the Transformation Scene sketched here, given that it was pulled out by Mr. T out of Beauty and developed more symphonically for "Le Voyage". Balanchine went further and took the whole thing with him and inserted it.
Mary Carmen Catoya was the highlight of the production with a VERY strong and lovely Dewdrop. Her pointes seemed to be glued to the floor during turns. She completely stole the show from Albertson's Sugar Plum, very much in the original LeClerq/Tallchief tradition.
As usual, Snow and Flowers were just balletic drooling.
I'll be seeing the City Ballet production next, so I will be able to compare...