Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Nuts about Nutcracker

by Amy Calhoun

It’s that time of year again…my husband has hung the lights, the kids and I decorated the tree and the excitement of December 25th permeates our home. As an added bonus we are looking forward to attending the MAC’s holiday offering of von Heidecke’s Chicago Festval Ballet The Nutcracker.

Tchaikovsky’s recognizable score (which I’m sure you’re already humming) is a staple of many holiday ads and jingles, but to hear it in its entirety performed by a live orchestra is a treat in itself. The MAC’s own New Philharmonic under the direction of Kirk Muspratt will add the rich accompaniment to the beauty of the sets and costumes.

And then there are the dancers. From the sweetness of the youngest dancers performing as mice to the practiced Clara to the grace and beauty of the Sugar Plum Fairy, every dancer displays an affection and appreciation for the holiday tradition that is The Nutcracker.

Over the years, I have seen many performances of The Nutcracker and each year I still look forward with anticipation to the performance. I wonder if Russian choreographer Marius Petipa or Tchaikovsky every considered that The Nutcracker would have this kind of longevity? Here we are 118 years later delighting in a holiday tradition that has been celebrated around the world by generation upon generation.

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