I learned about this approxiamately the same time the news broke out. I was excited until I fully become aware that, thanks to this thread, the Nutcracker used before will now be long forgotten, that this December will be the last of almost anything remotely authentically Joffrey.
Long time Joffrey attendees, how does that make you feel? I was really amazed by Wheldon's version of Swan Lake, and I wouldn't mind at all if Joffrey Ballet were to adapt his new Nutcracker for a North American premiere, but as its set narrative and choreography for Nutcracker as permanence?
I'm brand new to the ballet world so I don't have much an informed/insightful opinion on such a thing, but it doesn't really sit welll with me; it's just a feeling. As I read on the evolution of Joffrey, when Arpino died and as years passed, his ballet style slowly was chipped away. When Wheater took over the style took a nose dive - or so I read. It looks like Wheater is making Joffrey into his liking, slowly as it may be, and he does have the right to do it since he is Artistic Director, controlling what the company performs, its standards and its overall public face which all add to its reputation as a company when it is compared to other American ballet companies. He is there to shape the company's idenity - to keep whatever aspect he sees relevant or to tweak, if not outright change, other aspects in hopes for the comany's benefit.
Again, what do long-time Joffrey attendees and those who have followed the now Chicago company think? As one NYT commenter, "Amiblue," said -