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Nutcracker 2016


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Canbelto, I'm with you.  When my daughter was dancing Dewdrop a few years ago in Yvonne Mounsey's (early NCYB principal who originated "Spanish")  "Nuts" at Westside Ballet in Los Angeles, her boyfriend's much younger little sister -- then three -- was in attendance.  Besides loudly "saying" my daughter's name (understandable, but at least she did it only once), and asking questions,  this very young girl sat in rapt attention for the entire two acts on the edge of her mother's lap.  Her wonder and enthusiasm could not be contained.  I will never forget how huge her eyes were.  

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15 hours ago, Olga said:

Cellphone light is the worst. What are these people thinking? 

There are a couple of new cellphone transgressions that are driving me nuts.  People who use their phones to check the time, the lights go off and on throughout the performance, and those who use the light from the phones to read the program in the dark.  :huh:

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My pet peeve at any theatre performance but especially ballet is when people lean forward in their seats, which may be great for them but puts a silhouette of their head directly in the view of the person behind them. I always politely tell them that they may not realize it but when they lean forward they block the view of the person behind. them. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.

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As it happens, I attended the Nutcracker performance last evening (12/4, 5:00 pm), friends and family in tow.  (It's very easy to get non-ballet fans to join you when you go to the Nutcracker.)  As a fan of Sara Mearns, I was disappointed to learn that she was ill and unable to perform.  However, when Tiler Peck substitutes, there is no need for disappointment.  If you've seen her dance onstage you know what a phenomenon she is.  The speed, the clarity, her wonderfully complex movement - this woman is jaw-dropppingly amazing.  Her Sugarplum-Cavalier pas de deux with Amar Ramasar was just great.  They were well-matched, vibrant and engaging, dancing without errors, accomplishing the lifts with ease.  To the family's astonishment this morning, we saw Peck's Instagram messages regarding her last-minute substitution.  There was simply no way anyone would have known that Peck and Ramasar hadn't even rehearsed together.  It's an homage to the high quality of dance at NYC Ballet, a true world-class company, and the professionalism both of Peck and Ramasar.  In addition, Megan Fairchild as Dewdrop was superb, breathtakingly light, moving like quicksilver across the stage.  The audience roared its approval for these three great principals.  It was an unforgettable show.

As an aside, we experienced none of the audience behavioral problems that others have during earlier performances.  No cell phones in the dark, no texting, no children talking loudly or running down the aisle (we were in the orchestra).  Maybe we were just lucky, but the audience seemed fully engaged by what was happening on stage.

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On 12/2/2016 at 8:47 PM, canbelto said:

I might be nuts (pun intended) but I like kiddie chatter during the Nutcracker. This year there was a girl behind me who was fixated on the "candy canes." Every time she'd ask her mom when the candy canes came out. Her mom would shush her and she'd ask again. Finally when they came out she shrieked and started counting each jump with the hoop before finishing with one last ecstatic yelp as Devin Alberda finished the double hoop jump.


I think that's the charm of the Nutcracker experience is the chattery kids. They're SO EXCITED and its' cute.


I agree. It fits the ballet and the season, and for me it's part of the experience. Mothers on cell phones, not so much.

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I also agree.  When I saw Nutcracker Sunday night, there was a little girl in the seat behind the seat to my right who kept kicking the back of the chair before the performance and during intermission.  Whenever I turned around -- but not a second before -- the mother would stop the girl from kicking. 


But she also reacted delightfully and audibly intermittently during the performance, which made me smile ear-to-ear.  I was afraid to turn around, though, because her mother would have assumed I was annoyed, and I didn't want that to happen.  

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Week 5 casting is up: 



Lots of debuts!

Aaron Sanz and Harrison Coll as Cavalier, Emily Kikta and Isabella LaFreniere as Dewdrop, and Olivia MacKinnon and Jenelle Manzi as Coffee.

Some of the people who debuted last year are getting second chances in their roles-Ashley Hod, Indiana Woodward, and Unity Phelan are all doing Sugarplum.

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Also Claire Kretzschmar and Megan LeCrone, I believe they also were debuted as Sugarplum last year. 

I wonder if there will be any new Sugarplum debuts this year. It's looking like maybe not. 

Excited about the new debuts though. I hope to get to see either the Kikta or LaFreniere Dewdrop. 

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I am glad Kretzschmar is back as Sugarplum and will be excited to hear how LaFreniere performs as Dewdrop! I believe most of last year's debuts for Sugarplum were the week of Christmas, so it will be interesting to see if they are saving Sugarplum debuts post-Christmas this year.

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Seems from Instagram that Sara Mearns is out indefinitely. I wonder who will cover her role in tonight's performance. I always hope to catch Megan Fairchild's Dewdrop. I love that role for the petite women. In fact, I think Claire Von Enck would make a lovely Dewdrop.


Ashley Bouder's Broadway facial expressions have always distracted me, so I don't enjoy her dancing as much.


Very curious to see who will debut in Sugarplum/Dewdrop slots during Christmas-New Year's.

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I haven't seen the NYC Ballet Nutcracker in a few years.  I think the last time I saw it Lauren Lovette was SugarPlum and Mary Elizabeth Sell was the Dewdrop.  The performance was mesmerizing.  They are both appropriate for the parts.  Lauren was very much the elegant and delicate fairy and Mary Elizabeth Sell flew through the air with great ease.  I wonder if she is cast again as Dewdrop this year.  I still haven't bought my tickets.  Any suggestions for a particular performance?

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The cast I saw with Krohn, Janzen, and King was really lackluster and actually pretty sloppy. The first NYCB Nutcracker performance I saw was with Mearns & Tiler Peck (forgot the male), and I forgot how much of a difference the lead casting makes. The supporting cast was great.

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On 12/12/2016 at 8:01 PM, canbelto said:

I'd go woth the Laracey/Catazaro/Peck performance. Tiler Peck's Dewdrop is amazing.


I agree 100% - it forced me to buy a ticket to another performance. Peck's Dewdrop is one of the best ever. I've never seen Laracey's SP but she's such a warm and gracious dancer with that glorious epaulment that I'm sure it will be wonderful

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Does anyone know what happened with Sara Mearns? According to her Instagram she's going through a very bad time right now and can barely perform. Is she injured? Sick? I wish that people wouldn't post cryptic things on social media if they're not willing to name what it is they are discussing. Especially if they are audience members who bought tickets specifically because she was cast in the role. 

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While I understand the frustration, dancers get to control their social media message, and we are privileged and lucky to get what we do.


Mearns' withdrawals from Nutcracker performances have been documented in this thread, including a performance from last week, where Tiler Peck substituted for her and danced with Amar Ramasar with no rehearsal. 

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I would love to hear any reports from the past few days. Emily Kikta's Dewdrop or the King, Gerrity, or Kretzschmar Sugarplums. Also anyone who sees the La Freniere Dewdrop coming up. 

I am just returned from Woodward and Ball with Ashly Isaacs Dewdrop. Briefly, top notch all around. Look forward to more of all three of these. And Anthony Huxley as candy cane was a sight for sore eyes, and I didn't even know my eyes were sore! When he comes onstage, his clarity and brilliance shine like a diamond, and suddenly everything else seems pale. 

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