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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Nutcracker on PBS

I love the Nutcracker so much that I think everyone else should too. So I cajoled my friend into giving the Live from Lincoln Center Nutcracker a chance. (Great show, by the way, although I found Megan Fairchild disappointing as the SPF. Ashley Bouder was predictably spectacular as the Dewdrop).

My friend is not a ballet person, to put it mildly. After about 15 minutes, this is the text message I receive:

"Are you f...king kidding me?!?! 5 minutes! That's all I could see from that show. It's just too much for me. Sorry. Those people dancing and the kids bothering everyone, and the music, NOOOO!!! I just can't."

Me: "What about it was soooooooo bad? There are beautiful dancing snowflakes coming up though."

My friend: "Everything."

LOL. I guess Nut-nuts can't win over everyone.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Nutcracker - pure joy and happiness

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Every year I go see the New York City Ballet's Nutcracker and it's like falling in love again. I can't believe that I've now seen this production maybe 10, 15 times (I've long lost count) and every time I still find a new moment of total enchantment and beauty. This time, it was me noticing that before Marie and the Prince depart the Land of the Sweets, the Prince kisses the Sugar Plum Fairy's hand. Such a little gentleman, and so representative of Balanchine's famously polite, gentle nature. It is true that Balanchine's classic is so enchanting that it's impossible to have a bad performance of it, in the sense that even a hum-drum performance will charm and delight the audiences. But when the stars are all aligned and it's not just a Nutcracker, but a great ballet performance period, the balletomane in me feels the warm fuzzies (so needed on this cold, dreary, rainy NYC night). Tonight, every child was adorable, every mouse was hilariously goofy, every snowflake was a whirlwind of speed, every flower bloomed, and all was beautiful in the Kingdom of Sweets. What more could one ask for?

Faust


Gounod - Faust
Metropolitan Opera 
December 6, 2011