Friday, December 19, 2008

The Nutcracker

last night Sierra and I took my grandma to see the Nevada Ballet Theatre's production of The Nutcracker. Before I get to the review, I will give a little back story. Grab a cup of hot cocoa, a nice warm blanket, and get ready for the tale of your life.

Actually it's not that exciting. Every year, when I was little, my grandmother would take all of her posterity to see The Nutcracker at Christmas time. I'm going to be honest, I HATED this tradition. It was this incredibly long and boring dance recital where guys would stuff their little white tights and prance around. The beginning made sense to me: the little brother and sister get gifts and then the little boy annoys the crud out of the sister for a while. That I got. After that I got nothing. Mice come running in, the dolls become real and fight the mice and mouse king, and then the magician takes the kids to magic winter and candy land. I thought it was so lame. In fact, I think I may have been instrumental in the demise of the tradition. I was too young to know if I really had that much of an effect, but one year I adamantly requested we not go to The Nutcracker and instead go to a different show. That same year we went to the Knights of the Round Table or whatever at the Excalibur. It was freaking sweet. However, The Nutcracker tradition didn't really last after that. I don't know if it was because my sisters were starting to get married and what not, but for some reason we just sort of stopped. I think I always felt a little bad like my request had made my grandma feel like no one liked that tradition.

So here we are all these years later and somehow Sierra and I get on the conversation of The Nutcracker. I told her how we used to go every year and she told me that she had never seen it before. Soon we had a plan to give back to my grandma a little bit of the tradition that I had felt responsible for ruining for a few years (I realize now that I was not responsible, so there is not some strange guilt or something). We went to it last night and it was lovely. My grandma really enjoyed it, which made me happy. Sierra really enjoyed, which made me even happier. In fact, even I enjoyed it, which confused me. The same strange men were leaping about in their far-too-tight tights and I still don't get how the story makes any sense, but for some reason I was ok with the idea that the story didn't need to be a story in the sense that there is a plot and a climax. I think that was one of the things that had frustrated me when I was younger; the climax (as near as I can tell) comes in the first act. All the rest of it is just the sights the kids see as they travel around the winter and candy lands.

I think what really made the difference (besides me being older and more mature, etc.) is that I have a much deeper appreciation for music than I did back then. The music is amazing. It is so beautiful and rich. It incorporates Russian, Spanish, Oriental, and Arabian styles and has so many different movements and moods that it sets. When my focus was the music, the dancing made sense. At times I would find myself sort of letting my eyes glaze over, so I wasn't paying attention to the specific moves that the ballerinas/ballerinos were doing, but instead just letting the movement as a whole be a blur of colors and what not. It was really cool to take it in in that way. Today, when I told my supervisor about that technique, she said it is a good thing I wasn't alive during the 60s or I would have definitely been a dead head. Haha. Except, I don't even need drugs for the psychadelic art to take its hold on me I guess.

Tickets aren't cheap, so I don't know if I can really recommend it to others. There are probably lots of other things that most would find more enjoyable than sitting through a ballet for about 2 1/2 hours, especially for the price. The cheap seats run $45 and the expensive ones run $75. We got ours for half off, so it wasn't that bad actually, but most probably wouldn't have the sentimental attachment to the show that I now do. If however, you can afford it and want to try something different than just the standard flick at the cinema (or if you are obsessed with music and dancing), then I do recommend it. I'm glad we went.

I will also add this, I actually was impressed with the dancing this time. Some of it is quite beatiful and other stuff is obviously difficult. While still not wanting to ever be caught alone in a dark alley full of ballerinos, those guys (and ladies) are pretty amazing.


heather said...

What?! I can't believe that you are actually telling us that you loved watching ballet! I wonder if you ever saw me dancing in it when you were younger with your grandma? My brothers hated it as well. They liked the begining but then hated the rest, but still went to support me.
Awesome, I'm just glad to hear that you enjoyed it this time. It is by far one of my favorite traditions. Thanks for this sweet post.

Alex Dye said...

Sounds like a jolly good time. Merry Christmas, Cory fam.

Matt & Jen Hanks said...

I totally know what you are talking about! I haven't had the chance to see that ballet yet, but the connect between music and dance is beautiful! That is why I loved all of my dance classes growing. It is so fun to express your emotions, or the emotions of the song, through dance. It can definatly be powerful for the people watching as well as the dancers. Love it!!!