Monday, December 20, 2010

Nutcracker Memories

My roommate and I, my 1st year at Rock, with our "tree."
Sigh. As so many friends finish up Nutcracker seasons this week, I'm thinking back to all my (millions of) Nutcracker memories. Because of my stupid foot, this is the first winter in 15 years that I have danced in some version of the holiday classic. I grew up on it. It's what Christmas means to me. And it's really hard to have the season come without putting on a pair of pointe shoes...

I was very fortunate this season to still be involved in a production, even if I wasn't onstage. Since September I've been rehearsal assistant for Exit 12 Dance Company's brand new Nutcracker, which had its run this past weekend in West Hartford, CT. While it was frustrating to not get up and dance in rehearsals, I really enjoyed helping shape the choreography and clean up details. I was so thankful to still be part of the creative process in the studio, and for me it was a different but equally beneficial kind of learning process on the outside.

I went to see the finished product on Friday and was so proud to see my friends onstage :) Everyone looked beautiful and came a long way.

But at the same time, as I sat in the front row my heart was breaking. I want to dance. I want to be onstage. I want to be in Nutcracker. I miss it terribly...

While my foot still rests and gets stronger (and the pain hopefully goes away soon?) I'm trying as hard as I can to stay connected to ballet. But it's not the same when you just can't do it all day everyday, with performances this festive time of year. Here's a look back at some fun Nutcracker memories...
My first Nutcracker - as a Chinese Doll with Boston Ballet, age 7

Our cast of dolls

As a lamb in Boston's Nut. During Marzipan they had 4 of us hopping around stage.

As a pollichinelle in Boston. I was so proud: I got to be "Kissy Boy" at the end, staying onstage for an extra few seconds blowing kisses to the audience by myself :)
I was a party girl twice in Boston. This was the older year. Check out how long those curls are!

An angel in Boston. So...the audition people lost my # and didn't cast me, so last minute they made me the only thing they could: an angel with people twice my age (and height). Not a great year for a shorty under the smog.

My last year in Boston I was Tea. The parasols were fun.

After Boston I spent 2 years as a Hoop in Balanchine's Nutcracker at Pennsylvania Ballet. Nice pants.

After that came NYC: 2 years in Dances Patrelle's Nutcracker. This was snow.

A not-so-Spanish Spanish cast, Dances Patrelle.
After that? My first Nutcracker as a PROFESSIONAL. Albano Ballet in CT.
Albano Ballet bows.
And then: 2 years of my favorite. Ballerina bears at Radio City Music Hall. Ah.
And can see me all too seriously watching Roman Baca's Nutcracker rehearsal, here.

Happy Nutcrackering! Happy Radio City-ing! Happy Holidays :)

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