Only eight more chances to see Alexei Ratmansky’s Nutcracker at the Brooklyn Academy of Music! Next year it moves to Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa, California. It may not be as kid-friendly as New York City Ballet’s time-honored version, but it has its own beguiling assets—including a goodly dose of humor.
I loved American Ballet Theatre’s new Nutcracker when it opened in 2010 (although I had a few, um, objections). Visually and psychologically it's very three-dimensional. Clara is a real girl, pulled between her fantasy worls and her wish to grow up. The snowflakes swoop and dive and dart, they don't just drift. The big pas de deux entwines and swirls; it doesn't just hit beautiful lines.
Musically Ratmansky doesn’t make the obvious choices that would match Tchaikovsky’s climaxes. He kind of slithers underneath the music. I posted this blog about his way of subverting the crescendos. My advice is to go there not expecting the big moments but enjoying the richness of his subtler relationship to the music—and the surprising places where the funny parts crop up.
Now I’m getting nostalgic I’m a bit sad that this week will be my last viewing of this wonderful Nutcracker.
But hang on: There’s good news for NYC area audiences. This week three of the most magnificent ABT soloists will dance the lead (meaning Clara as a grown-up): Sarah Lane, Misty Copeland—who just received a Dance Magazine Award—and Stella Abrera, the latter two as debuts. I've written about why these three women, each with an unmistakable individualty, are star dancers even though they are still soloists. (If you want to see a clip of both Misty and Sarah Lane dancing at the Awards, click here.)
To buy tickets to this soon-to-take-the-highway-westward Nutcracker, click here — and click here for casting.
Photo: The snow scene from ABT's "Nutcracker." Photo by Gene Schiavone, Courtesy ABT.
Essential oils sometimes get a bad rap.Between the aggressive social media marketing for the products and the sometimes magical-sounding claims about their healing properties, it's easy to forget what they can actually do.But if you look beyond the pyramid schemes and exaggerations, experts believe they have legit benefits to offer both mind and body.
How can dancers take advantage of their medicinal properties? We asked Amy Galper, certified aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies:
Karen Azenberg, a past president of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, stumbled on something peculiar before the union's 2015 move to new offices: a 52-year-old sealed envelope with a handwritten note attached. It was from Agnes de Mille, the groundbreaking choreographer of Oklahoma! and Rodeo. De Mille, a founding member of SDC, had sealed the envelope with gold wax before mailing it to the union and asking, in a separate note, that it not be opened. The reason? "It is the outline for a play, and I have no means of copyrighting…The material is eminently stealable."