Years and years ago, I saw a fraction of the Nutcracker on TV. Nobody else wanted to watch it, so I had to use the black and white TV in my parents’ bedroom. I don’t remember much about it, except that it was sponsored by somebody who wanted to show how classy they were by not interrupting the performance with ads. (They used to do that, sometimes, back in the day.) Now, of course, I’ve heard the music a million times since then. But that was my sum-total experience of the ballet itself. Until today.

Today we went to see the Inland Pacific Ballet performance of the Nutcracker. (I should say, portions of the Nutcracker. It was some kind of teach-the-kiddies something cultural day. I went as a chaperone, I guess. We got only the tiniest fraction of Act I (10 minutes?) and a great swath of Act II (about an hour?).)

My evaluation: very colorful. Despite tutoring on the subject of ballet by one or more members of my household, I’m still pretty ignorant about all those grand batmans and nest-ce-pas‘s they do. But clearly they meant well. On the other hand, if I had a dream like Clara and there were 100 people leaping around like there were in the finale, I’d call that a nightmare. I understand that Peter Ilyich said it was worse than even Sleeping Beauty, so I will defer to him on that score.

Oddly, upon returning home, I have discovered that my CD of Tchaikovsky’s Greatest Hits seems to be missing. (Why I never ripped it into iTunes I don’t know. Possibly it was missing back when I was ripping everything?)






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