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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 12:54 pm 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
I'm going to disagree slightly with you guys.

Although the costumes are gorgeous and the problems in the choreography of the last production have been fixed (that awful Mirlitons dance is gone, thank god), I hate the lack of set in Act II. Maybe it will grow on me over the next 20 years, but I doubt. There is no sense of place or grandeur. There is a decided lack of people and celebration. The visual tricks are way too low-tech and obvious to be truly effective.

I loved the battle scene though. And the choreography for the corps de ballet in the snow scene has gotten downright difficult. Party scene is even more boring. I;m glad they kept that crazy hard Russian choreography and got rid of those stupid wigs.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:32 am 
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Location: California
A review from Anna Kisselgoff in the New York Times:

Quote:
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 18 - Like San Francisco, the city it celebrates along the way, the visually smashing and all-new "Nutcracker" choreographed by Helgi Tomasson, artistic director of the San Francisco Ballet, is elegant and beautiful. Also, a paean to positive thinking.
Nutcracker Review


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 11:08 am 
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Location: El Granada, CA, USA
And from the Oakland Tribune.

Quote:
S.F. Ballet's 'Nutcracker' no musty fruitcake
By Stephanie von Buchau, CONTRIBUTOR

ONE doesn't automatically think of San Francisco Ballet's Helgi Tomasson as a showman, but he has proved, with "Swan Lake," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Romeo and Juliet" that, in his hands, the full-length classics can remain pure and tasteful yet still be theatrically exciting, visually thrilling and emotionally satisfying.
Friday night's world premiere of Tomasson's new "Nutcracker" is a stunning example of the choreographer's staging abilities.
more...


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 2:20 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
I've decided to think of this year's choreography as a first draft.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 8:28 pm 
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Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Quote:
Originally posted by djb:
I've decided to think of this year's choreography as a first draft.
LOL, djb! Is a first draft like "Four Seasons" is a first draft <cough, cough>?

Unfortunately, I have not seen it and may not get a chance too this time around. I simply have no time for yet another Nut... Bah humbug...


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Tue Dec 21, 2004 10:32 pm 
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Location: San Francisco
Azlan, are you referring to Kudelka's "Four Seasons"?


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 2:50 am 
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Location: Estonia
Quote:
Clara and Her 'Nutcracker' Friends Stop by the World's Fair

by ANNA KISSELGOFF
the New York Times

... this $3.5 million "Nutcracker" takes place during the Panama Pacific International Exposition held here in 1915.

...

For all these changes of locale and imagery, this "Nutcracker" is straightforward, traditional in tone and anything but a trendy irreverent remake.
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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:33 am 
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Location: San Francisco, CA
I had a chance to sneak and see the second act again on Monday (I went twice to make up for you, azlan- LOL) and caught Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun's Sugar Plum Fairy. It's so interesting -- she's still very young looking, but you can tell that her training and coaching has been impeccable. Her gestures had a lot of command and authority, and though she had a few wobbly moments (which I chalked up to overly hard shoes) she looked lovely-- particularly when she smiled!

The ribbon dance looked better, more practiced -- but one still got tangled up in her ribbon in the last turn.

Joseph phillips looked good in the Trepak -- I still love that choreography of Vilzak's -- and Dalene Bramer in Arabian was a little more seductive looking than I thought Sarah van Patten had seemed on opening night.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:20 am 
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Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun - SF's gain is London's loss! I'm delighted that this wonderful dancer is being given such great opportunities by SFB.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:58 am 
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I'm glad the overall reviews are positive. I'm itching to see the new Nut, but have to wait until next Tuesday! Please keep the reports coming :D

<small>[ 22 December 2004, 10:58 AM: Message edited by: RaHir ]</small>

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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 10:02 am 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
A previously overlooked preview from Emily Quinn in Playbill:

http://www.playbillarts.com/news/article/985.html


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 12:01 pm 
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Allan Ulrich in The Financial Times:

http://news.ft.com/cms/s/5dcd82be-5419-11d9-a749-00000e2511c8.html


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:26 pm 
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"Nutnaree Pipit-Suksun - SF's gain is London's loss! I'm delighted that this wonderful dancer is being given such great opportunities by SFB."

Nutnaree was elegant as the Snow Queen in her solo debut to a packed house at the Saturday matinee, December 18. After the performance I ran into her as she was walking alone down Franklin St. (she is not well-known yet) and told her how glad I was she had joined SFB. She is radiant in person, well-spoken and surprisingly self-possessed (at 19). I believe her choice to come to San Francisco was very deliberate. She must know how extraordinarily good Helgi is at developing talent (it may be his greatest gift). He helped Yuan Yuan Tan grow from a promising soloist to an international star, and he easily could do the same for Nutnaree. It's going to be a pleasure to watch this gifted dancer develop. By the way, Yuan Yuan Tan was stunning in the Grand Pas de Deux on Monday; her tiniest movement can break your heart.


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Thu Dec 23, 2004 5:47 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA. USA
60 Years in the Making
Taking the Fifth – America’s Original Purveyor of Nutcracker Unveils New Production
Opening Night, San Francisco Ballet
17 December 2004
War Memorial Opera House
by Dean Speer

With much fanfare, holiday décor, and the transformation of the block around the Opera House into a Winter Wonderland, it was with a sense of giddy glee that I returned to the fountainhead of America’s love affair with the Nutcracker and to San Francisco Ballet in anticipation of seeing their new $3.5 million-dollar production – its fifth in the three score years this full-length ballet has been on these shores.

As I mentioned elsewhere, West Coast ballet patriarch Willam Christensen could probably never have guessed the immense popularity this ballet would enjoy when he made the first, complete version in America in 1944 for this very stage and company. [He did comment later that it had not just become popular, but “an epidemic!”]

It’s a Production

The festivities began with a fanfare – brasses trumpeting and heralding the doors’ opening to the pressing throngs milling about on the Van Ness sidewalk. The gilded, barrel-vaulted ceiling of the opera house foyer was competing with the gilded patrons who were enjoying the strategically placed tables of holiday chocolate treats and goodies, strolling characters such as a Nutcracker Prince on stilts, a duo white and pink Glinda, and a brass ensemble of musicians serenading.

Clearly, the audience was up for this and we were not disappointed. A collective murmur of agreement went up as the first notes of the score were struck at 8:10 p.m. Beginning with a frontdrop of an early 1900s postcard, whose middle became a slide show projection that brought us 1915 San Francisco, its World’s Fair, and to a clever “Photoshopped” slide of street shops and one that’s outlined in red: Drosselmeyer’s Time Shop. I thought this opening was particularly clever and enjoyed it very much.

The drop then lifted to reveal the interior of the shop with Drosselmeyer himself putting the finishing touches on a toy and with a mother and a her daughter coming in to do some last-minute holiday shopping [some things never change!]. This scene then changes to a street of “painted ladies” [and there are 100 painted Victorian windows in Act I] with a nurse tending a perambulator, a trio of strolling nuns, an Irish beat policeman, and a few heading into the home of the Stahlbaums. Away goes this view and – voila – we are in a parlor which features a grand, curving staircase from which Clara makes her running and enthusiastic entrance. It’s a happy party scene with Drosslemeyer doing magic tricks to entertain the children, a theme which hints at and carries over into Act II.

This same parlor transforms – by magician Drosselmeyer who levitates out of a trap door in front of the growing Christmas tree, eliciting many oohs and ahs – into a set resembling a tilted pop-up book for the inevitable battle and it’s great. There is, for example, a giant fireplace 22 feet tall and 19 feet at its base; the size of two San Francisco cable cars stacked on top of each other. Everyone liked how the mice gradually and cutely appeared by cautious sniffing around and then become more assertive. The battle yields to a shimmering Snow Scene that looks and feels like we’re really out there in a snowstorm. Just the right colors and intensities with lots of generously falling fake snow. Curtain. End of Act I.

It’s Not Mother Hubbard’s, So Why Was It...

The production values in Act II felt a little thin to me and, indeed, some audience members around me were commenting that it seemed bare. Did they run out of money and/or ideas? Certainly, in comparison to Act I and to the expectations that it built for us, it did seem spare with only a colored cyc and a hint of a crystal pavilion hanging from the flies. I think we all had expected something more physical and lavish. And in particular, to have been transported to the 1915 World’s Fair. We did get the sense that some of the national dances were perhaps some of the kinds of things we could have seen not far from the Midway. Some of the elements for the individual divertissements were quite good, however. The huge Spanish fan, the female Arabian dancer actually being a genie and coming out of a magic lamp, a Chinese Dragon, the trepak dancers literally bursting out of three Fabergé eggs, and Mother Ginger being “Madame du Cirque” and her dress being a Big Top. We all LOVED the delightful surprise of having a Dancing Bear emerge out of her tent – cued by applause, rather than more Buffoons (who were already on stage).

Ah, But The Dancing

All of the dancing and acting assignments received first-rate execution. Ashley Wheater’s Drosselmeyer was a clearly etched and spirited character. Who could forget Yuan Yuan Tan and Ruben Martin’s glorious, regal and icy Snow Queen and King and his exciting and fast coupé jetés off into the upstage left wing? Or to have not thoroughly enjoyed Gonzalo Garcia’s Nut Prince and the King of Mice, gleefully danced by Kirill Zaretskiy (who enters and exits from the prompter’s box)? Muriel Maffre’s Sugar Plum Fairy, who also doubled as the Dewdrop in Waltz of the Flowers, was the stuff that truly inspires visions of her species dancing in our heads and for gazillions of little girls to wish for tutus and pointe shoes. Ah, and the Grand Pas de Deux with Tina LeBlanc and Mr. Garcia was worth waiting to the end of the act. The dancers were given, for the most part, choreographic creations that did not rise to their level.

Strong Ideas, Weak Choreography

The best things about this new production are its concepts and the team of talented and creative artists that put it together. The weakest part I found was in the actual choreography, particularly the two big dances of the Snowflakes and Flowers. I also thought that the opening of Act II could have been and still could be made stronger by having the dancing children do more than kneel on the floor and flap their hands and arms. They needed patterns with simple steps and to be moving around lots and right away. They stayed stationary too long and this added to the effect that this act’s production was bare and they forgot to dress the stage before the curtain went up. It was a visual non-sequitur.

The two big, group dances need more choreographic variety. There was too much unison and reliance on grouping in lines. The ensemble work needs more patterns, more use of levels, more varying of the rates of speed [the choreography should both go with the music and “counter” it]. Too often, phrases begin on the obvious downbeats. While the choreography is pleasant enough, it was often banal, bland in need of more spice to be more of a challenge to these amazing dancers. And to be made more thrilling to us eager and supportive audiences members.

Music, Music, Music

The SFB Orchestra was glorious, nimble, and sounded in good form, as did the Boys Chorus which added so much to the Snow Scene. How nice it was to have the score played with the composer's original orchestration. I also thought the tempos were quite reasonable and nice.

A Memorable Evening

Making the choreography stronger is a fixable thing. I’m confident that I, my friends, colleagues, and the citizenry of greater San Francisco will enjoy this magical, new Nutcracker for many years to come.

<small>[ 23 December 2004, 07:08 PM: Message edited by: Francis Timlin ]</small>

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ballet@u.washington.edu


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 Post subject: Re: San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker 2004
PostPosted: Fri Dec 24, 2004 11:42 am 
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Location: Where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars
San Francisco Ballet Nutcracker, War Memorial Opera House, San Francisco, California, December 21, 1004

Helgi Tomasson’s new Nutcracker is a handcrafted heirloom. Rooted in the William Christensen version, Tomasson’s concept, staging, and choreography carve a niche out of early 20th Century San Francisco’s Victorian/Edwardian architecture, “Painted Ladies,” shipyards, merchant marines, urban Goldrushers, and trolley cars down Market Street. Here is the city that was just a bay away from the Pacific, with all the riches and resources that would travel back and forth across it, home to the very first civic ballet company in the United States. Tomasson’s is the first serious version of the world’s most-seen ballet offering a discernible plot, unfurled in a richly embroidered tapestry of elegant tableaux. It rejects as a platform, any sentimental views of children, the extended family, or bachelor uncles, in favor of an historically conceived work, that is coherent and fascinating. It brings to mind what the Cubans have referred to as “Workshops in Life,” where children enjoy what they see, but don’t leave empty-headed, because there’s a lesson or two to reflect upon.

Over the past several weeks, we have heard news reports about growing resentment against Jews (and others of course!), for having ripped the Christ out of Christmas. How interesting that the audience entering the Opera House theater sees a screened greeting card that states simply, “Compliments of the Season,” capturing the restraint with which Christmas and its collateral holidays were once celebrated!

A slide show of uncredited San Francisco black and white period photographs opens the performance. A colorized photo of a row of shops appears. As the camera zooms in, we see that the red wood-framed shop bears a sign that reads, “Russell Meyer.” As the curtain opens, this dissolves into the stage set, a redwood framed toyshop, tended by the famed “Drosselmeyer” (Jorge Esquivel), who busily shows his toys to one last customer and her daughter, as he hurries to close so that he may take a special gift to a special young lady while it is still Christmas Eve. This is a simpler, more readable introduction to the plot—especially for children. It is disappointing, however, to see the stunning Esquivel torso cut off at the waist by the toyshop counter. The view improves as we move into the scene in front of the Stahlbaum Victorian. We meet all the Christmas Eve street characters: a lady selling Mistletoe (hiding it when nuns pass by), two lads carrying a pine tree, and then Drosselmeyer feigning interest in a baby in a pram wheeled by a nanny, a transparent ruse to finesse making the latter’s acquaintance.

The Stahlbaum parlor, with its bay window looking out on other domed houses nearby, could be in North Beach. A fire flickers in the stage-left hearth, and the female partygoers are dressed in ‘20s-era chemises—with men in suits. While I like the clean look of this scene, I question the choice of pastel colors for winter wear. The color scheme is the reverse of the previous version, where the set was mostly pink and white, and the costumes of richer hues. I like the chemises, but would prefer warmer colors, saving the peach and the canary for the décor. Tomasson has mercifully eliminated mob rule in the ensemble pieces (thereby raising the artistry of the “mice and soldier” combat several notches). Some of the gaiety has gone out of the party scene. The children’s dance needs to be a little bigger and more spirited. The Fritz-Clara toy fight cooks up too quickly, yet mildly, to believably boil over into the Nutcracker incurring an injury. If you don’t know it’s coming, you could easily miss it. Lauren Foos is less spunky than many Claras I’ve seen (including in the City Ballet School’s marvelous production earlier this month).

If the party scene starts on a colorless note, Rory Hohenstein’s entrance changes all that. He boings out onto the stage like Jack in the Box, costumed as Harlequin, and as flexible and extendable as Gumby. By the time he finishes his divertissement with a jump split to the floor, I have made up my mind that he’s definitely my idea of the perfect bachelor uncle—an uncle you can dance with! Nicole Grand’s Dancing Doll is expertly rendered—glittering and twittering from the inside out. Martyn Garside’s life size Nutcracker is the one I want for Christmas! The mask and headpiece by Rodney Gordon, is Sendak-esque, as if he’s been marched out of Where the Wild Things Are. It’s a nice touch that Drosselmeyer returns to the story regularly, playing more of a curator role, especially when he stewards Clara through her dream.

There is a new chemistry in the dream sequence that starts with dry ice floating up around the Christmas tree. Then there’s Drosselmeyer's prestidigitation that turns the stage into something of a Ouija Board. He repositions the divan with the sleeping Clara via remote control port de bras, and ushers in an entirely new set, where the Christmas tree and its surroundings—the gifts, the credenza and the fireplace all grow to a giant size, making it possible to downsize Clara, so that she may inhabit the world her dream creates. We see that he sees that Clara is a young lady in need of a dream to grow on—and making it happen is Drosselmeyer’s real gift to her. This begets a different, and more realistic tension that is supported by mice who logically emerge from where mice often come, the helter-skelter pile of Christmas presents, and the King of Mice (Kirill Zaretskiy), who bumbles up from a special niche—the orchestra pit, clad in his general’s tunic and cap. He is more portly than the others, perhaps because he has benefited from an insider tip that the musicians have a stronger union than the dancers! Our Nutcracker has grown from a fireplace ornament to a strapping sentry.

In this theater of operations, soldiers and mice can engage in combat better informed by military science than chaos. I used to chaperone the soldiers and mice backstage—and should therefore now be eligible for post-traumatic stress syndrome benefits. To my trained eye, it appears that the soldiers are using hobbyhorses from the previous version, but the mice now have rattier costumes, with squiggly tails that might seem irresistible to the random four-year-old who chances to happen upon a mouse in the lobby. The Weapon of Mouse Destruction turns out to be, of all things, A Better Mouse Trap—or at least a bigger one! I loved the Val Caniparoli's Dying Mouse of yore, but this Mouse King’s Slow Death on the Killing Floor offers much to admire, especially when his twitching corpse tumbles back into the orchestra pit—the gutter whence he came!

Alone with Clara, the triumphant Nutcracker is unmasked at last, and he turns out to be—Sergio Torrado, Caballero of Distinction! He’s hella handsome (in Bay Area parlance), and his facility has improved by leaps and bounds, though turns tend to be cheated on just a tiny bit in their preparations. [I know, I know—everybody else does it!] Lauren Foos now looks very pleased to be dancing Clara, and Torrado’s partnering renders their work into a reasonably dreamy pas de deux.

“Snow” opens with the white-costumed Snow King (Pierre François Villanoba) and Queen (Muriel Maffre)—dashing downstage, like a just-married couple, out of a lit square in the black backdrop. It’s an entrance that takes your breath away. Maffre’s developpés are like stalagmites rising out of a snow cave, urged upward with silken port de bras. The Snowflakes’ costumes are frosty confections of white tulle tutus, accented by crystal blue bodices and matching “ice” caps. As the music accelerates, the snow drives down harder. Maffre pas de chats onto the stage at the top of the crescendo into a blizzard of fouettés, giving the term “Cool Whip” a whole new meaning. Villanoba ménèges his way around the whirling Snowflakes. They all weather the storm— and they’ve got our love to keep them warm!

The snowmobile of yesteryear has been retired in favor of a cart with four white ponies, who glisten when they shake their manes, which is whenever deliveries of dancers are made.

After the intermission, we find ourselves in something that looks like the Arboretum, or possibly the Legion of Honor, or Palace of Fine Arts. (There were no press kits left, and no annotations in the program. Whatever it is, it looks spectacular, with fabric panels supported by wire armatures hung from above like opaque glass greenhouse windows. Underneath, we see the younger ballet students costumed as butterflies and insects (ladybugs rather than humbugs). The butterfly costumes look very much like the Butterfly costume from previous productions, with kiwi green and peachy flounces. The bugs are black and red, and the whole concept is so ecologically cute that it could melt the Snow scene frost right out of your imagination, most especially when lacy black butterfly wings descend from above. The kids are doing every ballet nine-year-old’s favorite step—grand jeté. What delicious license—to dance that step over and over, when you’re still just a kid and not yet the principal dancer you dream of becoming! And they look just fantastic doing them! Tina Le Blanc, the Sugar Plum Fairy du soir, enters in a lavender pink costume, and proceeds to rule the stage. Enter the ponies with their cart, carrying Clara in her lovely mint green nightgown—lovely until it is side by side with the Cavalier’s slate-blue tunic, and it turns out that they clash.

This reviewer usually ducks for cover when the child cavalier reenacts the dream sequence. Most boy students haven’t yet acquired the theatrical pacing to be able to rush through the mime in a way that makes what they’re doing—or why—comprehensible to the audience. It usually looks like the ballet master has put a gun to their heads and said, “Cram all these gestures and steps into this tiny allotment of time!” On the other hand, when an adult performs it, the gestures assume some depth, and the audience is better able to capture what is meant. The good news is that Sergio Torrado gives us more of his heavenly elevation; the bad news is that he’s cheating on his double tour takeoffs, and it remains distracting. Student butterflies (and bugs) drop off the stage, as their adult counterparts flutter in to give us "Waltz of the Flowers" from the butterflies who love them.

The Spanish variation costumes are sleek—black toreador pants and jackets studded with rhinestones for the men, and black and white flamenco dresses for the women. Nicole Grand and Dores Andre are both hot, and right on time! Arabian is restaged so that the female dancer (Erin McNulty) doesn’t emerge from the floor below. Instead, two men (Quinn Wharton and Kirill Zaretskiy) carry her onstage hidden in an enormous gold Aladdin’s Lamp, which is rubbed rather suggestively, in order to coax her into view. The choreography here is more deliberate than in other versions, with the two men and one woman giving us cambre back in unison, so that we really see the dancers’ elongated bodies. The men’s en dehors turns from à la seconde need some work, but the variation is beguiling and quite respectful of the nuances in the music.

The Chinese divertissement features a male dancer (Garrett Anderson) in bright yellow, and a gaggle of students in wonderful vermillion costumes doing choreography derivative of the Lunar New Year Dragon Dance. It’s a welcome change from earlier stereotypical steps that dancers dread being cast to perform.

Mirletons/Marzipan has been supplanted by a ribbon candy dance called “French.” The dancers, Dalene Bramer, Francis Chung, and Maryellen Olson, manage the least-attractive-of-all choreography just fine. Forced-arch pliés en pointe are great for strengthening the thighs in class, but should never, ever, be shown onstage! The ribbon handling is a little awkward on this first time out. You breathe a sigh of relief when they finish in a jump split to the floor, happy for them that it ends with everything coming together on the same triumphal note.

The Trepak Russians break out of Fabergé eggs on the furious upbeat that marks their entrance. What a great idea! All three are divine (Hansuke Yamamoto, Daniel Deivison and Garen Scribner), but Yamamoto is off the hook in his facility, elevation and articulation.

The Madame du Cirque (Louis Schilling), who replaces Mother Ginger, is a curious creature. With her face painted like a dancehall queen, and her red, white and blue bunting-like costume, she brings to mind those Gay Nineties illustrations that show a similarly painted lady, draped in the flag. In those renderings, Madame is smoking a cigar, skirts indecorously hiked above her open legs, as she leers out at the camera, the clear implication being that the woman of ill repute is a metaphor for the United States government. I couldn’t help wondering whether it occurred to Mr. Tomasson that Madame du Cirque could be taken as a dead-ringer for the "other" madam. In any case, her skirts host the bear who usually cavorts during the party scene. The children, who usually skip gaily out from under those skirts, do so in from the wings instead, and are not costumed in gingham, but fake cow skins, looking like mini Gateway computer calves. Are they, dare I ask, intended to be those happier California cows? Is the bear no longer Russian, but the California State Grizzly? An entire Fourth Grade Social Studies curriculum has been packed into this one variation, and yet, it’s tons of fun! I’m tripping!—and wondering—What became of those cute angel costumes? And—Have Bill Gates and the Dairy Board spooned over substantial liquid assets for this new version—“Nutcracker 8.1”?

Tina Le Blanc’s Sugar Plum Fairy dazzles, and then Lauren Foos dissolves into Sarah Van Patten, who, partnered by Torrado, gives us the Grand Pas de Deux. Van Patten works sturdily and handsomely on a technical plane, but could borrow a cup of Snow from Muriel, and a sprinkle or two of Dazzle from Tina, to lighten and brighten her work.

All of you Scrooges who claim to have seen a thousand Nutcrackers and have assumed that this one will be just another Ho-Humbug clone (and you KNOW who you are), nuts to you! This is a sleighride of a show that jingles all the way, and may just end up busting all the nightmarish ghosts of Christmas Past. So, Dash-away, dash-away, dash-away, One and All—directly to the War Memorial Opera House and SEE IT :) !

<small>[ 24 December 2004, 11:02 PM: Message edited by: Toba Singer ]</small>

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