Ah…so we survived Nutcracker Weekend.
Actually, it wasn’t bad at all and was very enjoyable. Philip ended up taking Pumpkin to Wednesday’s fitting/rehearsal marathon, so I was able to get some preholiday baking done. The pie, by the way, was delicious.
Friday, Pumpkin Girl and I went out to lunch and then attended the one and only dress rehearsal together. Funny thing, this particular production of The Nutcracker. The professional company is from out of state and they provide the grown-up dancers, props and costumes. All the child dancers are all local. The children are split into two casts and rehearse sans professionals for weeks before the performance. On the day of the costume fittings, they rehearse with the professionals when possible, or at the very least they review their blocking on the stage. The afternoon before the first performance, the orchestra, professional dancers and one cast do one dress rehearsal. The other cast is invited to watch with one parent.
We had a grand time watching the rehearsal. It was fascinating to watch the whole process – the ballet mistress stood there making minor adjustments, the dancers didn’t always do all the lifts in each dance, the dancers chatted with each other and occasionally the orchestra needed to make changes to accommodate the dancers.
I’m not sure how the whole thing manages to come together with only one cast doing the full dress rehearsal, but it did. We took the boys to see Pumpkin’s first performance which was Saturday night (and was also our 17th wedding anniversary). Pumpkin’s part was brief but sooo cute. You really have not lived until you see a chorus line of dancing sheep. Trust me on this, since I don’t have pictures or video. They probably got the biggest laugh and “ahh”s of the whole ballet. The boys really enjoyed the whole show and Boo even wanted me to find another Nutcracker performance so we could see it again. I assured him that this was not our last Nutcracker.
Pumpkin tells me that the professional dancers were very nice and some of them helped backstage. “Herr Drosselmeyer” helped herd the sheep and line them up for the finale. I saw several of the adults helping the children during the rehearsal. The sheep were so well behaved on the first night that they were allowed to watch Act II from the wings.
At the cast party, several of the professional dancers showed up and were very gracious in signing t-shirts and posing for pictures. The Snow Queen was very nice and asked Pumpkin if she’d had a good time. We caught Herr Drosselmeyer just as he was leaving and he was very nice, too. We managed to catch up with the Clara from Pumpkin’s cast and she was just as sweet as could be.
Pumpkin came home from each performance with stars in her eyes and plans to someday play Odette in Swan Lake.
But for now, it’s back to reality.