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All streaming Nutcrackers in one place!


canbelto
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1 hour ago, stuben said:

Boston Ballet seems to have been able to film their entire company during lock down with this Gift for the holidays. Looks like fun - The Gift as "a jazzy twist" with the one and only Duke Ellington's music, the insert image from URL isn't working for me but here is the link: <https://www.bostonballet.org/Home/Tickets-Performances/Performances/The-Gift.aspx> Good to see so many companies doing what they can to entertain audiences everywhere. 😃

I watched it this morning. It is password protected for people who bought their digital subscription.

I was impressed at their ability to make lemonade from lemons, as it were. The program opened with the Nutcracker Grand Pas -- in costume, with white masks and, most notably, a beautiful piano transcription accompaniment by a live pianist! The Ellington was very nicely done -- I had no idea he'd written this music, so that was a pleasant surprise. The company was dressed in basic leotards, pants, and skirts (red, black, white), with black masks -- very effective for each movement.  Classical ballet with a jazzy twist that was easy to watch.  It's nice to see them finding ways to keep the dancers employed and supporters engaged.

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8 hours ago, volcanohunter said:

Starting tomorrow Goh Ballet will stream a film titled The Nutcracker, Beyond the Stage: Fallen Prince. Advance registration is required.

https://www.gohnutcracker.com/

In the classic fairy-tale of Clara and the Nutcracker Prince, she rescues him from the sword of the evil Mouse King. But, in 2020, evil is all the uncertainties that torment a fallen prince in pursuit of a career in the world of ballet. Separated from his family during the lockdown, Alex, a 20-year-old struggling dancer, spends the cold, pandemic ridden winter in isolation and is forced to re-examine everything that was once familiar and is no longer, until he meets his Clara. Will he find the resolve to continue on his journey?

This made me sigh --not because it isn't traditional but because it takes a story about Clara and her struggles to grow up and 'modernizes' it into a story about a male dancer and his struggles.

 

Edited by Drew
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12 hours ago, Drew said:

This made me sigh --not because it isn't traditional but because it takes a story about Clara and her struggles to grow up and 'modernizes' it into a story about a male dancer and his struggles.

 

Did Clara struggle?

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1 hour ago, Novice123 said:

Did Clara struggle?

In a traditional production, she has to cope with the breaking of her Nutcracker doll  (a big deal to a child with all kinds of potential meanings), a dream with nightmarish elements including the battle of mice and soldiers—in which she intervenes—the journey through the snow to land of sweets and, though I don’t recall if this belongs to the original, waking up from out of her dream.

It is not a realistic story, and it’s not presented as kitchen-sink tale of angst, but it suggests, in a fantastical way a whole psychic world of learning about oneself and the world and some of the pains and pleasures of that process...I am not a super fan of modernized productions that make her psychic development too explicit (though I do like scary rats and I don’t mind a pas de deux for Clara on pointe with a come-to-life romantic Nutcracker) but I find them at least to be based on something in the traditional ballet libretto and in the music

I always take fantasy stories and fairy tales quite seriously. I think the music suggests that Tchaikovsky did too.

Edited by Drew
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8 minutes ago, Drew said:

I always take fantasy stories and fairy tales quite seriously. I think the music suggests that suggest Tchaikovsky did too.

That's an argument that Roland Wiley makes in his interesting article "On Meaning in Nutcracker," available on JStor for those with access.

Edited by nanushka
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2 hours ago, Drew said:

In a traditional production, she has to cope with the breaking of her Nutcracker doll  (a big deal to a child with all kinds of potential meanings), a dream with nightmarish elements including the battle of mice and soldiers—in which she intervenes—the journey through the snow to land of sweets and, though I don’t recall if this belongs to the original, waking up from out of her dream.

It is not a realistic story, and it’s not presented as kitchen-sink tale of angst, but it suggests, in a fantastical way a whole psychic world of learning about oneself and the world and some of the pains and pleasures of that process...I am not a super fan of modernized productions that make her psychic development too explicit (though I do like scary rats and I don’t mind a pas de deux for Clara on pointe with a come-to-life romantic Nutcracker) but I find them at least to be based on something in the traditional ballet libretto and in the music

I always take fantasy stories and fairy tales quite seriously. I think the music suggests that Tchaikovsky did too.

 Would I be correct to assume then that you don't like Bourne's Swan Lake for the same reason, it modernizes and switched to all male struggles?

PBT Nutcracker

 

 

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6 hours ago, Novice123 said:

 Would I be correct to assume then that you don't like Bourne's Swan Lake for the same reason, it modernizes and switched to all male struggles?

 

 

 

I haven't seen Bourne's Swan Lake except an excerpt done as a "guest" performance on a mixed bill--the lake scene pas de deux. 

But in principle, it doesn't seem analogous to me.  The Petipa/Ivanov libretto has Siegfried's actions and moral choices at its center even when Odette/Odile is the "dance" center of the ballet. (One of several reasons I am not a big fan of adding a prologue to Swan Lake in which we see Odette transformed into a Swan -- it seems to me to miss how much her entrance gains from the audience sharing Siegfried's startled point of view.) I guess I still don't think of Swan Lake as having simply a male-centric story, as the lake scenes' choreography for Odette and the swans --Ivanov's as it has come down to us--seems to me the ballet's greatest expression of the quest for freedom...but yeah...I don't think of it quite as I think of Nutcracker...

Actually, many modern productions of Swan Lake--even ones that are quite traditional overall--make the ballet even more fundamentally about Siegfried (he hates his mother, he hates his life, he gets additional solos etc.). That seems more analogous to those Nutcracker productions that become very explicit about Clara's psychic development (she is becoming an adolescent, she is learning about love, she--and not the Sugar Plum Fairy--dances the big pas de deux etc. etc.)  instead of leaving it as subtext in what appears to be a children's story. (In Bourne's Swan Lake, as I gather from my reading and the excerpt I have seen,  there is a still more radical re-conception of the nineteenth-century story and the choreography altogether--though...uh...surely the original has something of a gay subtext which he is picking up on.) 

Anyway, mileages vary--and, also theatrical experiences sometimes make a big difference. What I don't like on paper, the Nutcracker description that began this discussion, I might like in the theater...and vice versa: something that sounded interesting on paper might prove disappointing in the theater.

 

Edited by Drew
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On 12/18/2020 at 3:23 PM, Drew said:

In a traditional production, she has to cope with the breaking of her Nutcracker doll  (a big deal to a child with all kinds of potential meanings), a dream with nightmarish elements including the battle of mice and soldiers—in which she intervenes—the journey through the snow to land of sweets and, though I don’t recall if this belongs to the original, waking up from out of her dream.

It is not a realistic story, and it’s not presented as kitchen-sink tale of angst, but it suggests, in a fantastical way a whole psychic world of learning about oneself and the world and some of the pains and pleasures of that process...I am not a super fan of modernized productions that make her psychic development too explicit (though I do like scary rats and I don’t mind a pas de deux for Clara on pointe with a come-to-life romantic Nutcracker) but I find them at least to be based on something in the traditional ballet libretto and in the music

I always take fantasy stories and fairy tales quite seriously. I think the music suggests that Tchaikovsky did too.

In The Nutcracker and the Mouse King, the E. T. A. Hoffman story upon which the ballet is based (loosely based, I should add) Marie (not Clara) must prevail against dark forces ranging from the seven-headed Mouse King to the more mundane but no less distressing parental dismissal of her night time adventures as mere dreams and fantasies. She gets wounded in the battle with the Mouse King, who later proceeds to extort sweets and toys from her in exchange for his not chewing up the Nutcracker. It's she who must procure the sword the Nutcracker will use to dispatch the Mouse King, and it's she who must break the curse by swearing to love the Nutcracker no matter how ugly he is. Basically, she goes through the kind of trials characteristic of a hero's journey. Mark Morris brings back the Nutcracker's humdinger of a backstory in The Hard Nut, and makes it clear that Marie is the work's moral center.

Here's a link to Hoffman's original, which really is darker and weirder than the prettied up version used for the ballet.

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23 minutes ago, Kathleen O'Connell said:

Here's a link to Hoffman's original, which really is darker and weirder than the prettied up version used for the ballet.

And really no different from the tales of the Brothers Grimm or Hans Christian Andersen - many of which can only be described as horrific. The continually mystifying part for me being how the term "fairy tale" came to refer to cute, whimsical and 'girlish' tales. I suppose we can thank Disney for heavily reworking the tone of fairy tales, but Disney's Sleeping Beauty wasn't actually My LIttle Pony cute. Even the Brothers Grimm were accused of cleaning up the original source materials to make them more palatable to a general audience. So it could be the farther back one goes, the uglier these tales get.

Edited by pherank
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Not a performance, but ... an online exhibit mounted by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts - Winter Wonderland: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

From the intro:

The exhibition Winter Wonderland: George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® charts the early years of the ballet’s life, from its premiere in February 1954 to the success of the remounted production in 1964. Through treasures from the archives of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division, including photographs, set models, and costume designs, the story of the work emerges, as do the thematic qualities that make Balanchine’s version of the ballet unique and so enduring: namely nostalgia, faith, love, and childhood innocence and wonder.

There are lots of interesting photos and images, including this 1954 photo of Eliot Feld and Alberta Grant as the Nutcracker Prince and Marie:

index.php?id=57282254&t=w

Or Rouben Ter-Arutunian's 1964 sketch of Marie and the Nutcracker Prince's reindeer-pulled sleigh for the finale (and which I would like to turn into a holiday card ...)

index.php?id=57282338&t=w

Or Karinska's costume sketches for the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier

index.php?id=5243307&t=w

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I just watched a studio's performance of The Nutcracker on Youtube (a suggested video, since I've watched ballet clips before).  It's not a professional production, so I didn't expect NYCB-level dancing, but it was... not good.  The dancers' abilities were limited (only a couple of [teen] dancers wore pointe shoes) and there appeared to be no male dancers (the Nutcracker role was performed by a female dancer in pointe shoes; does not turn into a prince). 

But more than anything, I was super annoyed at the director and/or choreographer for putting together this disaster.  How could they in good faith give such awkward choreography that even the most technical dancers would struggle with these sequences?  Why didn't they rehearse these pieces over and over again so the dancers knew the choreography forwards and backwards (one girl was on the wrong standing leg when standing in a semi-circle and didn't seem to notice)? Why would one teen dancer think it was acceptable to stop in the middle of Waltz of the Flowers, look around, and then walk off stage like a pedestrian? (it appeared she was just annoyed and gave up; if she was seriously injured, she should at least try to exit the stage in character).  

I don't know anything about this studio (where it's based) or  if the video was recorded this year (maybe this is the result of 9 months worth of Zoom classes).  I've ran rehearsals before and know it's difficult to put together a production.  But I just feel so sad for the students/dancers.  They deserve much better.  (I don't know - maybe I'm just too harsh - maybe the director/studio owner themselves doesn't know any better?)

Edited by GretchenStar
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3 hours ago, canbelto said:

Ballet Collective's streaming right now:

 

Interesting production born of these difficult times. Amazing and totally committed performers. It's being streamed on demand 12/23 through 12/26, in case you missed it https://www.nutcrackeratwethersfield.com. I believe the concept has legs for post pandemic. Bravo to everyone on the creative, performing, productive, money raising teams for delivering this Nutcracker in such a beautiful yet challenging setting.

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On 12/14/2020 at 11:23 AM, volcanohunter said:

The Royal Ballet will livestream its "reworked", Covid-safe Nutcracker on Tuesday, December 22, starting at 7 pm GMT (2 pm Eastern). With Yasmine Naghdi, Matthew Ball, Christopher Saunders, Isabella Gasparini and Luca Acri. The charge is £16.

https://stream.roh.org.uk/products/the-nutcracker-4

The Royal Ballet has been forced to cancel tomorrow's scheduled livestream.

 

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14 hours ago, vipa said:

Interesting production born of these difficult times. Amazing and totally committed performers. It's being streamed on demand 12/23 through 12/26, in case you missed it https://www.nutcrackeratwethersfield.com. I believe the concept has legs for post pandemic. Bravo to everyone on the creative, performing, productive, money raising teams for delivering this Nutcracker in such a beautiful yet challenging setting.

Has anyone else been able to stream a replay of BalletCollective’s Nutcracker at Wethersfield since yesterday’s livestream?  I had some issues with Twitch and would like to see it again. But the link just brings me back to a 20-second promo.  It is supposed to be available through Saturday. 

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1 hour ago, Peg said:

Has anyone else been able to stream a replay of BalletCollective’s Nutcracker at Wethersfield since yesterday’s livestream?  I had some issues with Twitch and would like to see it again. But the link just brings me back to a 20-second promo.  It is supposed to be available through Saturday. 

On the "Stream" page it states:  Available again on demand December 23, 2020 at 5PM to December 26, 2020, at 11:59PM 

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On 12/20/2020 at 2:46 PM, GretchenStar said:

 ... I was super annoyed at the director and/or choreographer for putting together this disaster.  How could they in good faith give such awkward choreography that even the most technical dancers would struggle with these sequences?  Why didn't they rehearse these pieces over and over again so the dancers knew the choreography forwards and backwards ... ? Why would one teen dancer think it was acceptable to stop in the middle of Waltz of the Flowers, look around, and then walk off stage like a pedestrian? ...

 ... I just feel so sad for the students/dancers.  They deserve much better.  (... maybe the director/studio owner themselves doesn't know any better?)

With this kind of thing going on, this seems the right thread after all to post in about Ballet Chicago's streaming Nutcracker compilations.  They're not free, no, and the video quality is variable, but Ballet Chicago is a good, serious school, and, plainly, everybody connected with it knows better than to present a disaster like the one GretchenStar writes about.

I've already linked just above to my other post in its original timidly chosen location, but here again is the link to some video of one of their most popular scenes:

https://vimeo.com/247428800

Edited by Jack Reed
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