Alexandra

What Nutcrackers are you seeing?

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Westside Ballet in Santa Monica, Ca, and then NYCB over the holidays! Also, just for fun, there's a one woman show by Sandra Tsing Loh at the Geffen playhouse called Sugar Plum Fairy -- about a 12 year old who wants the lead in Nutcracker and ends up being a Rat in the battle scene.

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Marianna, Local Foreigner -

I gave your conversation its own thread in the Almaty forum. Keep talking - and let's continue talking about what Nutcracker's we're seeing here!

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:wacko: I'm going to see the Royal Winnipeg's Nutcracker, set in the Canadian prairies in 1913, complete with a hockey game, snowball fight, Mounties (I think). There is mice, snowflakes and the Sugar Plum Fairy, et al, too- so the traditionalists should still be satisfied. First time for this company - should be a truly Canadian experience!!! Plus, I have promised to take out one of the "Snowflakes" after her performance.

Cheers!

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This year, we will see our daughter dance in her school's Nutcracker, which is a quite nice holiday tradition. We are fortunate enough to have a live orchestra and a very nice venue. I will probably see all of the dress rehearsals and the 5 performances (although many will be from backstage). We also are receiving two free tickets to ABT's Nutcracker at Orange County, (my checkbook can relax!) so my daughter and I will attend that one as well. And, we will also attend another school's performance in OC (a good friend and her daughter just moved there recently, and we want to see her in her "new" Nutcracker, as she has always been in ours, up until this year). I still never get tired of the music; I get goosebumps of excitement when I hear the first notes from the orchestra pit!

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Hi everybody!

I just went to see BalletMet's Nutcracker in the beautiful Ohio Theatre. The theatre was built in 1928 and it is a sight to see. There is an enormous chandelier that is so gorgeous! It was an old Vaudeville house and I hear it's been converted to be able to handle large touring shows. After I saw the theatre, I was concerned that the ballet would be outshone. This was not the case. The first act was so different in that in most of the Nutcracker productions I've seen on tv, it is little more than an excuse to get to the "real" dancing. However, in this production, there was a lot of real dancing....all of the parents danced so much it was like watching a beautiful ballroom scene! The costumes and sets were very colorful in rich jewel tones. It was set in a Victorian mansion and there was a grand staircase, a fireplace, and faux wood walls. For the first time, the story made so much sense to me. All of the characters who show up in the second act made an appearance in a different form in the party scene. The Sugar Plum fairy came as a guest with her partner to the party and they were billed as famous Russian dancers. So they danced together for all of the party guests. The 'Doll' that Drosselmeyer(sp?) brings to the party was in the form of a large clown danced by a guy named William Cannon who can't possibly have any bones in his body! He was amazing. In the second act, his character shows up with other clowns and they were so funny. The clowns in the second act are played by children who were delightful!! After the party scene, the battle scene was very busy and the choreography looked to be difficult. Then came the snow scene. WOW! The best I've ever seen. Cheographically interesting and visually stunning. The flakes were all in chiffon dresses that were dyed in shades of blue and white with crowns on their heads. They kept moving the whole time and whirling about...then it started to really snow from the ceiling on stage. They kept on dancing and Clara and her prince did a lovely pas de deaux.

The second act starts against a black backdrop with Spanish and the lead dancer dances and flirts with Drosselmeyer. As soon as they are done, the black backdrop (which turns out to be some sort of flowing fabric) whooshes away to reveal a desert scene in light blues, purples, and sandy colors, and 2 sinewy male dancers holding up the female Arabian dancer in a split over their heads. As it was danced tonight, it was hypnotizing. After that, Drosselmeyer lifts his arms, that backdrop flies away, and you are transported to the interior of a palace where the Russian is danced. These 3 guys awed the audience and got them clapping in time to the music with their big jumps and whatever those jumps are called where they go down to the floor and jump right back up again. The children who play the clowns do some amazing things with their hula hoops. They must've ate, drank, and slept with them. Then came the Waltz of the Flowers and they had on tutus in varying shades of flower colors. It was quite beautiful. The Sugar Plum and cavalier that I saw tonight were flawless! Sugar Plum was played by a little dynamo named Hiromi Ushino, who could do anything any choreographer threw at her. Her technique is flawless, balances forever etc., and she is even beautiful to watch walking. Derek Sakakura played the cavalier and he can jump! He was doing something where he beats one leg against the other 4 times while his legs were behind him in sort of an arabesque position and than he landed so perfectly like a cat. He did a whole bunch of turns and other jumps where he traded legs while in the air. :shrug: (Sorry I don't know all the tecnical terms.) After that, everybody danced together and the Nutcracker prince lifted Clara up high, and then the lights dimmed, the Victorian sets were back, and suddenly Clara was in her father's arms. She awoke and asked him where had everbody gone? and he tells her to go back to bed. She runs back for one more look and Drosselmeyer comes out to hand her the Nutcracker.

The audience seemed to really enjoy it because they clapped for a long time.

I hope this isn't too long or redundent for those of you who have been at this awhile...I just wanted to share my experience!

D

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I haven't seen The Nutcracker in years (at least 10 or 11) and the only way I'd see it performed live is if I were introducing a child to The Nutcracker. (Then as I've done in the past, I'd take that child to see Balanchine's Nutcracker at the David Koch Theater.) I think The Nutcracker is great for kids, and I do realize how important it is to the budget of the ballet companies who dance it. Also, I think the music is fantastic, and I make sure I listen to the music often this time of the year. The ballet, however, doesn't interest me at all. In the first act, there's no real dancing until the snowflakes come on at the end of the act. And yes, there are many divertisements in Act II, but to me, they're lovely, but not very exciting. I've seen The Nutcracker live about six times (five of those times the Balanchine Nutcracker) and the last few times I saw it I kept thinking that it wasn't Sleeping Beauty. (not even close).

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San Francisco Ballet's at least once; any others will depend on posted casting.

Two others playing locally I may go to if SFB doesn't trump them with casts I want to see: the resurgent (again) Oakland Ballet is performing a version by newly appointed AD Graham Lustig; and The Great Russian Nutcracker, which is playing a couple of performances close to where I live. This latter is the one Alastair Macaulay reviewed with some favorable comments (and some not so) in his "Nutcracker Chronicles" in the NYT.

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Miami City Ballet's Nutcracker (the Balanchine) back in West Palm Beach after several seasons away.

Boca Ballet -- this is a school company but also a chance to see guests Irina Dvorovenko and Maxim Beloserkovsky from ABT.

I'll be skipping the Moscow Classical Ballet performance, in town right before Christmas.

Edited to add: Beloserkovsky was out due to injury and was replaced by the excellent Alexei Tyukov, trained at Perm and now at Colorado Ballet. Dvorovenko is a true ballerina, as the term was used in the days when few were considered worthy.

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I broke my vow of not seeing another Nutcracker----the lure was Veronika Part and Ratmansky :flowers:

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I plan on seeing the new Nutcracker production by Wayne Eagling for English National Ballet that replaces a version that was pretty much detested by all. The cast I will aim for is the one headed by Elena Glurjidze, a true ballerina of astonishing gifts and a Kirov trained dancer that never got to dance with the Kirov, which goes to show just how ropey the selection process in St Petersburg has become.

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NYCB Nut on Xmas eve, as seems to be becoming our family tradition.

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...AND...in a very interesting twist, on Sunday I just happened to bike by the Fillmore Theater on my way home from the beach, and voila...I discovered that there's also this Company... Kirova Ballet -(no relation to the Kirov, BTW...this is the AD's last name)-which will be doing the Nutcracker and bringing Veronika Part to dance the lead. So of course...I'm going...!

:thumbsup:

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My niece will visit New York this Christmas and wants to see the "Nutcracker." Which New York company offers the best version for a 6 year old who has no ballet experience? I have never been a fan of this ballet, but I am going to give it a second chance for the sake of my niece.

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My niece will visit New York this Christmas and wants to see the "Nutcracker." Which New York company offers the best version for a 6 year old who has no ballet experience? I have never been a fan of this ballet, but I am going to give it a second chance for the sake of my niece.

I would say the NYCB version. It's a classic. Based on the prices they are charging for rep, I'm sure the prices for Nutcracker this year will be through the roof.

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My niece will visit New York this Christmas and wants to see the "Nutcracker." Which New York company offers the best version for a 6 year old who has no ballet experience? I have never been a fan of this ballet, but I am going to give it a second chance for the sake of my niece.

I'd do the NYCB one. a six year old can enjoy it and especially if you go to a matinee, the audience will be full of kids and the behavioral expectations slightly relaxed as a result. My kids have sat through it happily starting at four or a bit younger. many child performers throughout, which I find holds the attention of children in the audience.

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