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The Nutcracker

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I just got back from Tuesday's performance. Unfortunately, I was only able to see Act II.

The Spanish Chocolate dance was refreshing, although the two female dancers (according to the program Erica Felsch and Jennifer Ham) were not in unison during some parts. I did like the choreography though. The Arabian Coffee dance was fantastic! Shea Johnson and Tzu-Chia Huang were great partners. Huang's extensions were beautiful. I'm looking forward to seeing them dance together more in the future. Chinese Tea, with Ginger Smith and Sergei Perkovskii, was cute. Smith is extremely precise in her movements, which works well with the music. Jillian Barrell, Beau Campbell and Kara Hanretty were a great trio in Marzipan. The costumes for this dance are really different, but in a good way. They look like swirl Hershey's chocolate kisses, and they move in a really interesting way. The choreography for this Marzipan relies on cannons, and the dancers were spot on. Russian, with Daniel Marshalsay and Slawomir Wozniak was fun. Flowers was probably the highlight of the evening for me. Chelsea Wilcox is incredible! She seems to float around the stage, and her turns are solid! Her fouettes were pretty impressive. Sugar Plum and her Cavalier were danced by Kanako Imayoshi and Ilir Shtylla. They seemed to compliment each other well. Overall, I thought this was a strong second act. My one wish for the production was that they used a different backdrop. There is nothing on the stage except a few steps and a chair for Clara to sit on. The backdrop is just a shiny/purplish color. I think a lot of people look forward to seeing scenery in the Kingdom of Sweets, and this production has none!

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I went to go see the Nutcracker on the evening before Christmas eve. It was fabulous. First off I want to say how nice it is to have Timothy Russell as a conductor. He brings so much life to the show. Little Clara (McBride) and the other students were very good too.

Michal Wozniak and Mahowald were a cute duo for the harlequin and columbine doll. She may be the best Columbine doll I have seen. She was very doll like.

I forgot how much I love the mice and snow scenes. The mice too humorous and Perkovskii as the king was a riot. Wilcox and Poulis did a terrific job. I already love her and she was perfect as expected, but Poulis is newer to lead roles and I am very excited for his future. And the snowflakes were simply sparkling!

Poppe and Smith were a well matched couple for the Spanish dance. Although he is just out of school and needs to get stronger, this was a good part for him.

Magnicaballi in Arabian was one of the reasons I went to see the show and she did not disappoint.

I was not overjoyed with the Russian dance. Slawomir Wozniak and Johnson were mismatched in appearance and technique. Wozniak was noteworthy, his jumps and tricks soared high above the ground. He was very entertaining.

Clarke was a remarkable mother ginger. He had the entire audience at his attention.

Dew Drop was performed by Barrell. There is something different and exciting about her dancing. She is another up and coming principal dancer. I enjoy watching her vivacious dancing.

I was ecstatic with the coupling for the grand pas de deux. Zavarov and Hartley are a beautiful pair. Zavarov rose to the occasion. He is improving and looks stronger every time I see him. These two are the reason why I came to this show. They are technically faultless. A beautiful closing to the evening.

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