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English National Ballet's "Nutcracker"

Clara's First Trip (alternate title). Clara comes home from college and decides to chemically improve her holiday visit. With all of the wacky guests "dropping" in her folks' house, there's no doubt she's having a great time! Her uncle Elvis Drosselmeier gives her a toy nutcracker, which she completely gets hung up on in a way sobriety will prove oh too embarassing. Too wired to sleep, she returns to the living room after everyone else has gone to bed, only to discover the Christmas tree glows and glows, then grows and grows! Later on she has fights with giant mice, sees her Nutcracker come to life, and then goes on a magical journey to Sugar Plum Land, where she watches snowflakes dancing. Eventually, she flies away on a paper crane with her Nutcracker man, and thus ends another fine holiday.

Anyway, that's what I saw today (with shadowdaddy and arkady, though I think it's not the subtext they intended. What can I say, the backdrops were SO "Oh the Places You Will Go!" Dancing not so good. Next year: the Royal Ballet's Nutcracker.

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shadowdaddy
Dec. 18th, 2006 10:51 am (UTC)
The designs were great, and I thought that all held together pretty well. (There's a lot of room for that kind of play - the Pacific NW Ballet production was designed by Maurice Sendak, and is really quite the visual treat.)

I think the overall idea started out strong but just got a little lost; there was far more character fun in the first act than I remember from other productions, and I loved the bit in Clara's dream where the party guests 'transformed' into dreamland characters.

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