San Jose, California - Ballet San Jose
Real Nutcracker Magic - Storytelling At Its Best
December 10, 2011 - By Brad Maxwell
San Jose sits in the middle of Silicon Valley, just south of San Francisco, California. It's surrounded by hundreds of companies focused on today's
modern technologies and Internet communications. So its not a surprise that an area filled with innovative and visionary people would have a creative ballet company as
well. Ballet San Jose presents one of the most creative and entertaining Nutcrackers in the nation. It's a Broadway-worthy ballet spectacular!
Dennis Nahat's Nutcracker story is exquisitely presented and supported throughout the entire performance. The acting is simply sensational.
Comedy is ingeniously incorporated within the show, especially in the Party Scene where simultaneous skits take place at different locations on the stage. Its all so
entertaining you just can't help but finish Act I with a big ear-to-ear grin.
All of the Act II Divertissements continue the fun and creativity. New songs are
incorporated and The Grand Ball (Waltz of Flowers) is one of a few in the country that include male dancers. Not to mention that Clara and the Nutcracker Prince (Ramon Moreno) pretty much dance throughout the entire second act. The two are so
accomplished and talented, they are absolutely spectacular to watch.
The story starts at the Tannenbaum's house where Maria, Junna Ige, and her two brothers live with their parents, assisted by two silly maids
who hang pine boughs and push serving carts across the stage during the party. The sleepy and unsteady quick
stepping grandparents show up, followed by a gaggle of friends and the magical Godfather Drosselmeyer, played by Maximo Califano. Drosselmeyer then puts on a
theater, telling the story of a Nutcracker Prince in the land of Muscovy; he uses face masks to change characters in his one man play. After the story, everyone gets up
to dance, including the maids who begin flirting with Drosselmeyer and a guest. The guests leave and the family goes to bed.
The older Maria sneaks downstairs and performs a solo dance and then falls asleep on the couch dreaming of Drosselmeyer's story and
the Nutcracker Prince. She awakes and realizes that little hand puppet mice are sneaking up all around her. Drosselmeyer appears magically shrinking the room
while bringing the Nutcracker to life. A battle between the mice and soldiers end when Maria stabs the Mouse King transforming the Nutcracker into a Prince. They
journey to a Land of Snow where they dance with a twelve Snowflake ensemble in a heavy snowy blizzard. A truly gorgeous Snow Scene.
Act II opens as Maria and her Prince travel by swan to the Great Gates of Castille
(Spanish), Land of Shifting Sands (Arabian), Land of the Ivory Pagoda (Chinese) and the Gates of Muscovy (Russian). The Grand Ball (Waltz of Flowers) includes
eight couples with many jete lifts and spins.
The Tsar Nikolai, Jeremy Kovitch, and the Tsarina Tatiana, Alexsandra Meijer,
perform the Grand Pas De Deux which incorporates the traditional music and a graceful choreography -- a breathtakingly beautiful performance.
Be sure not to miss this spectacular show at The San Jose Center for the
Performing Arts accompanied by the San Jose Symphony Orchestra.