Nashville, Tennessee - The Nashville Ballet
Holiday Magic in the Music City
December 12, 2008 - By Brad Maxwell
Nashville -- The home of country music and where country music legends get their start:
Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, George Jones, and Johnny Cash just to name a few. So what Nashville event could be more special than
going to the Grand Ole Opry or visiting the Country Music Hall of Fame? Attending the Nashville Ballet's brand new Nutcracker of
course! It's a Nutcracker filled with country charm and overflowing with Holiday Magic. In fact, it's the most magical Nutcracker ever!
The Nashville Ballet's Nutcracker isn't just a ballet performance, its a holiday event. On opening night there was an holiday street-scape
in a tent where a soft snow was swirling as you step back in time to a magical winter of Nashville Christmas past. As you walk
through the quarter block length of this snowy Victorian wonderland, you see children ice skating, carolers and town folk ready to greet you and wish you a Merry
Christmas. The magic of Nashville isn't just a thing of the past, this is a town blessed with kindness and one of the friendliest places on earth.
The Nashville Ballet's Nutcracker is brand new with some exciting choreography and new props and costumes celebrating Tennessee's rich history. Many of the
backdrops incorporate the local countryside and Tennessee's historical buildings. Costumes are based on turn of the century Nashville and the guests in the Party
Scene are characters from Nashville life of years ago. The Nashville Ballet's Drosselmeyer is the most magical Drosselmeyer in the nation incorporating nearly a
dozen magic tricks into the show, including one where he disappears. In addition, the magnificent Nashville Orchestra is accompanied by a youth chorus during the
snow scene and the Waltz of Flowers has been moved to the beginning of Act II.
Act I opens to the Tennessee Centennial Exposition with performers like a snake
charmer, a doll maker with nesting dolls, a puppeteer and Drosselmeyer performing magic tricks. He presents Clara with a Nutcracker and then mysteriously makes it
disappear. The scene transitions to a snowy bridge over a frozen lake where a family is ice skating. Guests make their way over the bridge on their way to the
Stahlbaum's house. The funny old grandfather in his gray southern uniform slips on
the ice as he makes his way across. Truly a new and original scene as beautiful as a Holiday Greeting Card.
Act I continues at the stately Stahlbaum house decorated
with green and gold, a giant staircase in the back, and a view of the state Capital out the window. The guests arrive, along with a young Drosselmeyer with a beard, mustache
and eye patch who performs many different magic tricks like making a drink float in mid air, making the Nutcracker appear from under a scarf and then standing on a table
surrounded by a sheet he makes himself disappear and then reappear as the maid! Soon the the party ends, Clara falls
asleep on a small red couch and finds herself surrounded by small mice dressed in red Scottish kilts with little mouse tails
trailing behind. Troops of soldiers from Jackson's army, frontiersmen and Indians battle the mice until the mouse king loses the battle. The
scene transitions to a white backdrop lit with a soft blue light while twelve beautiful snowflake dancers highlight the magnificence of the Snow Queen and King
(Kimberly Ratcliffe and Christopher Mohnani). The choreography includes solos by the Snow Queen and King and the orchestra is accompanied by a chorus of young
singers enhancing the beauty of the Tchaikovsky score.
Act II opens to the Parthenon Garden draped with a green backdrop and framed with a beautiful arch of
sparkling flowers. Clara is entertained by a waltz of beautiful pink and purple Flowers lead by the Dew Drop Fairy (Sadie Bo Harris) and the Nutcracker
Prince (Christopher Stuart). Clara finds herself in the Kingdom of the Sugar Plum Fairy where she receives a celebration of dances. Three Spanish
dancers dressed in bronze followed by a Chinese dancer leading a golden dragon. Two Arabians carry in a basket revealing a beautiful Arabian
dancer dressed in blue and purple with a sparkling cobra headdress. Two Russian dancers leap across the stage with five Russian
nesting doll dancers. A beautiful pink and blue Shepherdess and Shepherd take the stage with a flock of six cute little sheep with pink bows. The five white and one
black sheep really steal the show with their delicate little sheep dance. The grand pas de deux is performed by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier (Christine
Rennie and Eddie Mikrut). A talented coupling filled with grace and dramatic flair.
The Nashville Ballet's Nutcracker is a spectacular celebration of family tradition and Nashville Holiday Magic. It's a holiday performance you don't want to miss.
Performances run December 12 through December 21 at the Andrew Jackson Hall at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.
For tickets: http://www.nashvilleballet.com/performances/tickets.php