Ballet San Jose


San Jose, Ca. - Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley
December 7, 2001 - By Brad Maxwell

Music, Mice and Maria; An Enchanting Evening


Stop by the Flint Center this December and treat yourself to an enchanting evening with the Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley's performance of the Nutcracker Ballet.  The first hint that you are in for some fun will be when you spot the giant Mouse King that is nearly 20 feet tall guarding over the courtyard to the entrance of the Flint.  In the middle of the courtyard are carolers dressed in Victorian outfits singing Christmas tunes while guests take turns having their photos taken standing next to performers dressed as the Nutcracker and the Mouse King.  Everyone is dressed with a holiday flare, including the children Decked out in velvet and bows in holiday colors, bouncing with anticipation of the show.

Dennis Nahat's version of the Nutcracker Ballet begins with a lively and fun party and battle scene followed by Maria and her Prince flying off on a giant snowbird into a colorful and enchanting snow scene.  As you enter into Act II, his creativity provides some exciting changes to the traditional music and story.  Dennis includes a couple of non-Nutcracker Tchaikovsky scores and follows a story line that has Maria and her Prince traveling to different countries, instead of visiting the land of sweets with the Sugar Plum Fairy.  Sets and costumes are outstanding with a superb blend of color and style.

The party scene opens as the Tannenbaums welcome guests into their wonderful home - A grand room with elaborate décor complete with a couple of doting maids who add to the fun.  All the lively guests arrive dressed in beautiful costumes, but the real fun starts once Godfather Drosselmeyer arrives.  Drosselmeyer, played by Dennis Nahat, provides one of the flashiest and fun-loving Drosselmeyer performances ever.  Certainly not the standard, somewhat scary, Godfather.  This party scene is truly a masterpiece and guarantees to bring a smile to your face!  Once the guests leave, Maria is visited by dozens of the cutest little mice dancers, prancing and clawing at the Nutcracker soldiers.  Maria (Maria Jacobs) and her Prince Alexis (Ramon Moreno) dance along with the beautiful Snowflakes.  They are a captivating pair and beautiful to watch.

In Act II, Maria and her Prince begin their journey to Muscovy, Alexis's homeland.  On their journey, they stop and visit the beautiful Kingdom of Castile, the Land of Shifting Sands and the Land of the Ivory Pagoda, where each provides a colorful dance.  Once they've arrived in Muscovy, they attend a beautiful ball where the Waltz of Flowers becomes a dance of ballroom dancers.  In this scene, the magnificent ensemble dancers, dressed in long beautiful flowing gowns and handsome regal attire, provide a breathtaking combination of dancing color and sound.  Truly spectacular!  The Tsar (Staphane Dalle) and the Tsarina (Sayaka Tai) of Muscovy, then dance the Grand Pas de Deux in superb style to top off the evening.

Overall, the Ballet San Jose Silicon Valley's Nutcracker is an enchanting evening, with live music performed by the talented orchestra, conducted by Dwight Oltman and Mitchell Sardou Klein.  During these busy holidays, you shouldn't pass up a chance to share this Nutcracker experience with the ones you love.


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