Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My date for the Nutcracker

Kieran's been wanting to see the full Nutcracker ballet for several years now. Here he is at age six with some Nutcracker toys:


A few years ago we went to see a condensed version, "The Nutcracker Tea" at PCC Sylvania, produced by the Northwest Dance Theater. But I finally caved this year and bought tickets for the real deal. We had great seats--fifth row--but my sight was blocked a bit by the guy in front of me. (Fifth row in the Keller Auditorium is probably not the best for short people!)

I especially enjoyed watching the Japanese dancer Yuka Iino, who danced the role of Dewdrop.
Martha Ullman West, the Oregonian reviewer, noted that "Yuka Iino's Dewdrop, an extremely difficult role, with its rapid-fire turns and unsupported balances, was fearless and near-as-dammit to flawless, exemplifying the clarity with which this company is dancing these days."

West further commented that the same was "true of the snow scene, dangerous to dance because the artificial snowflakes make the stage as slick as one of Portland's silver thaws." In fact, the snow scene and Iino's dancing were the highlights of the show for me.

Kieran and I both noted that toward the end, it looked like the Sugar Plum Fairy's consort was about to drop her...really, he was probably just a bit shaky, but it was unfortunately noticeable to both of us.
My handsome date
We both enjoyed our evening out at the ballet! And we were highly amused to run into the mother of one of the Hullabaloo actors (the woman who played Ignore, the nanny) in the lobby at intermission. She and Lisa have been going to see the Nutcracker together since she was 3 (she's now 25). We waved at Lisa as we were rushing back to our seats for the second act.

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