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Kaysta

The Nutcracker

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Anyone else going to see PA Ballet's Nutcracker? Tonight was opening night.

Like NYCB, they do the Balanchine version. It was interesting seeing it so soon after I saw NYCB's, so I could really compare the two. Overall, I thought PAB did an impressive job!

I thought the corps was especially strong, and I thoroughly enjoyed both waltzes. Alexandra Hughes was a radiant Dewdrop, who is just joyful to watch. I can't wait to watch her career develop, and I'm shocked she is just in the corps. I think she's going to be a star.

I was impressed with Amy Aldridge's Sugar Plum Fairy, but even more impressive was Lorin Mathis as her Cavalier. He danced very strongly and made the lifts look easy during the pas de deux. I also greatly enjoyed Holly Lynn Fusco's Marzipan Shepherdess.

The one solo I was mildly disappointed in was the coffee solo, done by Elizabeth Wallace. I think I'm spoiled though, because last week I saw it done by Georgina Pascoguin, and I don't think anyone can top her. Her extensions when she does that kick behind her head, and her overall performance and sultry-ness just can't be beat. So I was a bit disappointed.

Overall though, it was a great night! I have tickets to a matinee in two weeks, so it will be good to see it again later in the season

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Thanks for your review. I am so glad to hear Lorin Mathis did well. Loved him when he was in Boston. I wanted to get seats to see Elizabeth Mateer and Jermel do the Grand Pas next weekend, but it appears they are sold out. I guess I'll have to try another show. Please post another review if you go!

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Thanks for your review. I am so glad to hear Lorin Mathis did well. Loved him when he was in Boston. I wanted to get seats to see Elizabeth Mateer and Jermel do the Grand Pas next weekend, but it appears they are sold out. I guess I'll have to try another show. Please post another review if you go!

Will do. Lorin Mathis was incredible and like Hughes, I was surprised he's in the corps. I think the corps of PAB looks pretty strong, which is good for the future of the company.

Sorry the Elizabeth/Jermel show was sold out on you, but that is great news for the company! On Cyber Monday, they had a 50% of sale and apparently things sold really quickly. Jermel did tea on Saturday night, and despite a minor slip, he was tremendous! I can imagine his Cavalier would be amazing as well.

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I am also surprised that Lorin has never been promoted. He was a second soloist in Boston. As well, I am surprised that Elizabeth has not been promoted, as she has also done some pretty good roles over the past few years. Perhaps with the change in leadership, any promotions that may have been have now been put on hold. We will have to wait and see what Angel does, but here's hoping that some of the dancers get their due!

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I am also surprised that Lorin has never been promoted. He was a second soloist in Boston. As well, I am surprised that Elizabeth has not been promoted, as she has also done some pretty good roles over the past few years. Perhaps with the change in leadership, any promotions that may have been have now been put on hold. We will have to wait and see what Angel does, but here's hoping that some of the dancers get their due!

Yeah, hopefully some promotions will come before next season.

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Just got back from the matinee.

Don't have time to write much as I'm at work, but all I can say is that Lauren Fadeley was the best Dewdrop I've ever seen. I am debating getting tickets for when she dances Sugar Plum Fairy again, she was that darn good.

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It was just sublime! As I mentioned, Lauren Fadeley's Dewdrop was the highlight. I was reading her bio online, and it seems she spent a few years at NYCB after attending SAB. It's funny, but her Dewdrop was so on point, that you could tell she was well trained in the Balanchine technique.

I don't know why, but I always feel let down by the Sugar Plum fairy PDD. It was danced by Brooke Moore and James Ihde, and they did a nice job, but it felt a bit of a let down after the flowers. I'm no expert in technique, so I guess my question for those who have a dance background, is the Sugar Plum/Cavalier PDD considered to be one of the more difficult dances? All four times I've seen the Balanchine version, it's looked beautiful but a bit clunky at times, like I could see that it was difficult.

Anyway, the corps was fantastic. Mayara Pinero was a sight to behold in hot chocolate. She is new to PAB this year, Corella brought her from Milwaukee ballet (and Cuba previously). He's already given her a Sugar Plum Fairy and Dewdrop, so he most hold her in high regard and I can see why. She has an interesting backstory, having defected from Cuba during a ballet competition. I look forward to seeing how she's cast. It would be interesting to see her dance Odette in March.

Last but not least, I feel like no one will ever top Georgina Paszcoguin's coffee. Amy Aldridge was awesome, but I can't help but compare it to Gina P's, who was so entrancing. Is it possible that I saw the best coffee during my first ever performance?

On a non-Nutcracker note, I really can not wait for Swan Lake in March. I will be in the front row to see Lauren Fadeley's Odette!

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Oh, and a shout out to the little guy who played Fritz yesterday. He was so cute, and a really good actor for such a little guy. He couldn't have been older than 5.

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Thanks for your reviews. I did get see the PA Ballet Nutcracker once this season. Actually, I was disappointed, for the most part. I feel that the costumes and sets are very old and tired. There was very little magic in the party scene. The bed barely moved during the whole transition to snow scene. I am used to seeing it swirl about the stage. (I also do prefer other versions with a Snow King and Queen, but my understanding is that Balanchine did not want to take away from the music - correct me if I am wrong.) The best parts for me were Alex Hughes, who did a very good job of capturing the essence of Balanchine's Dew Drop; Olivia Hartzell (new to PA Ballet), who did a nice Marzipan lead; and Elizabeth Mateer, who was very elegant in the Sugar Plum role. I did not think that Jermel was the best of Cavaliers, as I believe his partnering is a bit weak. I had forgotten how "fast" the Arabian divertissement is danced in the Balanchine version, and I feel that it loses something in the translation. I much prefer other versions. It appeared that the whole thing was just under-rehearsed or the dancers were just having an off night.

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