Monday, December 31, 2012

The Nutcracker

Seeing The Nutcracker is one of those quintessential Christmas activities that I always wanted to do but never put forth the effort to.  This year, my cousin did and planned a fun evening for us.

I remember watching The Nutcracker on PBS on Christmas Eve when I was a little girl.  I have always admired the ballet but was never interested in going to one live until I got older.  Morganne took a few years of dance but quickly lost interest (soccer girl), so I didn't think she would be interested in seeing a ballet either.  But as the opportunity came up, I am glad we took it.

We met Macy & Ben and her mom (my aunt), Mary, at a fun restaurant downtown for an early dinner.  It was really fun to be going out on the town with my girl.  When I was young, ordering a Shirley Temple was meant for special nights, so I suggested she get one.  She was thrilled to be drinking a "big girl" drink and proceeded to have 3.

Macy & Ben always do such a  nice job engaging Morganne in to conversation.  Sometimes as parents, you get used to not talking with your kids when you are out to eat with others.  It was nice to sit back and see her talk about the part in the play she just got and what classes she likes best in middle school.

The Nutcracker was at The Long Center for Performing Arts (my first time) and it is a beautiful facility.   The lobby faces Lady Bird Lake and downtown Austin and has such a great view.

The performance was all with local dancers, including children and they were magnificent.  I guess I always thought that ballets were boring with all dance and no talk.  How can you understand what is going on?

Even though I knew the story of The Nutcracker, I had no problem following along - the gestures and movement just spoke to you.  It is so interesting to see the dancers interpret the story so gracefully.  You get lost in their movement and you never get bored.  Truth be told, I thought that Morganne would get bored but not a bit - we had a great discussion of what was happening during intermission.

The dancers make it look effortless, as they glide across the floor.  But you know it is hard work as you see the ladies dancing on their toes and hear the toe shoes clacking as they are dancing.  The men leap into the air and seem to hang their - they have so much strength in their legs.  The last dance of the first half, with the Snow Queen and King was just mesmerizing - they were all in white and just danced beautifully.

We had a wonderful evening - it was so great to do something different with my girl one-on-one.  And I am so happy to finally say that I have seen The Nutcracker at Christmas.  And I saw a ballet - number 30 on my 40 B4 40 list. Woo-hoo!


MiMi said...

I don't think I've ever even watched the whole thing on tv!

jennykate77 said...

She is such a sweet girl and she's growing up so fast!

I LOVE the Nutcracker! One of my favorite ballets of all time. I've taken Isaiah a couple of times and he actually really loved it, as well. He's totally into the Rat King. He's collected nutcrackers every since the first time we went when he was 5. We have quite the collection and he refuses to put them away with the other Christmas decor. He keeps them on display in his bedroom all year long.

Liz @ Sugarplum Creations said...

So much fun!!! My mom, mother-in-law, and I took my older girls several years ago, and we had a ball! It is such a beautiful ballet. And the overall experience {dinner out, dressing up, etc.} is so special!

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