Music by: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky/Choreography by: Melissa French, Michael French, & Adrienne Keville/Originally Choreographed by: Marius Petipa & Lev Ivanov/Performed by: NewArt School of Ballet/Featuring: Kontras Quartet
As I’m getting older, it seems that holiday traditions become just a bit more special, and what could be more traditional than The Nutcracker? In this delightful ballet, a large family gets together for Christmas, and the daughter of the house is given a nutcracker–the odd soldierly type–as a gift. During the night, she awakes–or seems to–and is waltzed through a journey in which her nutcracker turns into a charming prince, mice attack in droves, and a very sweet court performs for her enjoyment. Altogether, a very credible dream for a little girl to have during the holidays following an overly exciting day.
This past weekend, I had the opportunity to see The Nutcracker performed by our local ballet–the first time I’ve gotten to see it live. I really enjoyed it! The music and snippets of the ballet itself have always permeated the Christmas season, but it wasn’t until I saw the story in its whole that I realized how very seasonally appropriate it actually is. The story is simple, festive, and cute–I enjoyed how much of the story is devoted to what appears to be the girl’s dream. I think the manner in which it was performed when I saw it brought across that atmosphere quite effectively. The choreography was both lovely and fun–lots of big group scenes and intricately interwoven dances, which were neat. And of course, Tchaikovsky’s compositions are always grand and gorgeous, expressive, imaginative, and beautiful. I thought it was interesting that the NewArt School chose to combine recorded tracks with the live performance of the Kontras Quartet; it was surprisingly effective, and the live music was a very nice touch. I would definitely recommend going to see The Nutcracker performed live if you get a chance; it really does add a special touch to the holidays.