The childish delight of the Nutcracker ballet does not have to end at a certain age. If you allow yourself it can continue on into the time when you as an adult now bring your children or grandchildren. We were in New Orleans for a mini family reunion that was centered around our son guest performing as a part of Delta Festival Ballet’s 30th Nutcracker. Like many ballet studios and companies, Nutcracker is the big revenue generator for the year, and Delta Festival does a production with wonderful costumes and numerous guest artists they bring in for the more complicated parts. Our son specializes in the Russian dance (the Trepek) for them although he performed different roles in two other Nutcrackers this season and added in one Christmas Carol before he flew to New Orleans.
I digress from the point though. The fantasy of Nutcracker where young Clara is presented a fine nutcracker at a Christmas party and she later dreams of the Nutcracker coming to life as the Cavalier defeats the Mouse King, then watches an array of scenes with marvelous dancing characters and creatures can be fun for all ages. Every ballet company and studio that puts on a Nutcracker decides on how much of the ballet to include and puts in variations depending on the talent they have available and other resources. For the major ballet companies at the professional level, it can truly be a magical experience for a youngster, and for the four-year-old in the local community production who is part of the “Mouse Army”, it is usually a moment of incredible cuteness for parents to see. Taking a child to Nutcracker can be a memory-making event and for adolescents or teens, it can be their first introduction to ballet.
Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to all those past, present, and future “Claras and Cavaliers (or Mouse Kings)” and for family and friends that have taken the time to show a child or youngster this whimsical ballet.