American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker Couldn’t BEE Better

Gillian-Murphy-and-James-Whiteside-in-The-Nutcracker-Photo-by-Rosalie-O�Connor

Last night, I attended American Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Rather than taking Athena, I decided to have an adult evening out and went with a friend, Brenda. Admittedly, their take on The Nutcracker was very different from anything I’d experienced before and rather bizarre. Even the opening scene didn’t begin with the family party; instead, there were servers preparing the food and mice dancing in the kitchen. From the moment Clara’s godfather arrived, though, and his toy started to dance, I knew it was going to be a masterful performance. It seemed that the more people there were on stage, the better they did.  Continue reading

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I Need a Cold Shower After That One

Carmen - NC Dance Theatre

Striking, angry workers and sultry ill-fated passion are the backbone of Carmen, a North Carolina Dane Theatre production in Charlotte this week. I’ve left the ballet filled with awe plenty of times before, but I never left feeling like I needed to take a cold shower. Carmen is hot, hot, hot! Continue reading

Escape from the Stress of Moving

Holes in the wall, lifting heavy boxes, scratches on the floor, packing, unpacking, North Carolina Dance Theatermisplacing screws… moving is stressful. My new house is absolutely beautiful and during the evening when I can look up at the stars from my bedroom window, it’s all worth the hassle but I needed a break. There’s no better place to get away from it all than Neverland. Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s gravity-defying Peter Pan tells the story of the mischievous boy who never wants to grow up, his spunky sidekick Tinker Bell, and the frightful Captain Hook. Last night, I escaped to Neverland with this whimsical ballet and my imagination took flight. Continue reading

Visions of Sugar Plums: North Carolina Dance Theatre’s The Nutcracker

Oh, the magic of it all. Living dolls. The Sugar Plum Fairy. The Snow Queen. Worldly The Nutcracker
dancers. It’s The Nutcracker, in all its magic, beauty, and holiday charm. With music by Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky performed live with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra and stunning costume design by Bjorn Winnbald, Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux’s production has something to delight every family member. It’s not everyday you have a chance to create a new tradition, a custom, of enjoying performing arts, but The North Carolina Dance Theatre has found a regular in their spectacular production. There are few things that personify Christmas like The Nutcracker and I can’t wait to share that experience with my family for years to come. Continue reading

Les Ballet de Monte Carlo with ‘Cinderella’ at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa

I was in the presence of greatness last night when Jean-Christophe Maillot’s brilliant version of Cinderella was performed by Les Ballet de Monte Carlo at Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Costa Mesa.  I was so mesmerized by the performance that I couldn’t wait for the intermissions to be over. Les Ballets de Monte Carlo, one of Europe’s most acclaimed ballet companies, is so well disciplined that the smallest detail emerged with precision and fluidity. The accuracy of each dancer was astonishing, and Maillot’s sentimentality and wit shine as bright as the dancer. Continue reading

Visions of Sugar Plums – The Festival Ballet Theatre’s The Nutcracker

Oh, the magic of it all. Living dolls. The Sugar Plum Fairy. The Snow Queen. Dancing snowflakes. A Christmas tree that grows to spectacular heights. It’s The Nutcracker, in all its magic, beauty, and holiday charm. With music by Peter Tchaikovsky and stunning scenery and costume design by Simon Pastukh and Galina Solovyeva, Salwa Rizkalla’s production has something to delight every family member. It’s not everyday you have a chance to create a new tradition, a custom, of enjoying performing arts, but The Festival Ballet Theatre has found two regulars in their spectacular production. There are few things that personify Christmas like The Nutcracker and I can’t wait to share that experience with my family for years to come. Continue reading