Just an aside here for anyone who might be interested:
This issue of "The New Yorker" has a very short article, entitled Behind the Scenes: Wise Child
by Joan Acocella with two photos by Mary Ellen Mark. Too bad they don't do links.
It explains why George Balanchine actually chose to have children play the roles of children in his version of The Nutcracker:
"...Balanchine was being true to the "Nutcracker" of his schooldays-the original, 1892 St. Petersburg production-in which he himself was a child dancer... That's why the Candy Cane's dance and the Prince's beautiful mime solo are the only parts...that reproduce Lev Ivanov's original choreography; because Balanchine danced those roles, he remembered the steps.
But the children's presence is more than an act of fidelity...Clara learns about adult love, and begins to feel it. But in Balanchine's Wordsworthian view Clara would have been lucky to say the way she was-imagining, not becoming...Children, he felt, knew better than adults; they lived the true life, the life of the mind. "Nonreality is the real thing," he said..."
Ms. Acocella concludes her piece by saying that because of Mr. Balanchine's feelings about children, they had to be in it...for "they were the source of its wisdom."
The photographs are interesting too - not your typical cute Nutcracker kid pictures... If you're familiar with Mary Ellen Mark's work you won't be surprised. They are in black and white and have a very dreamlike quality to them with tiny bits of "reality" poking through. But most of all I am glad I read the piece for that quote: "Nonreality is the real thing."