BalletMet

 

Columbus, Ohio - BalletMet

The Nutcracker Magic of Drosselmeyer


December 7, 2012 - By Brad Maxwell

 

BalletMet Nutcracker 1The largest city in Ohio and the capital of the state, Columbus is a city of many sleek skyscrapers and the home of the Ohio State University.  It's a city that is regularly voted as one of the top ten places to live in the United States and has a long history of commitment to a rich performing arts scene.  With its love for the arts, Columbus is the perfect home for BalletMet and its spectacular presentation of the holiday classic, The Nutcracker Ballet.

BalletMet's Nutcracker shines as bright as the Christmas Star and without a doubt, one of the most magnificently expressed performances in the nation.  BalletMet's version incorporates characters and themes into the opening party scene to support the concept of Clara's dream.  Drosselmeyer flaunting his magical tricks of levitation, his dancing toys are those of the Chinese and Spanish from Act II, Fritz teasing Clara with a dead rat, and a voice narration in between scenes to support the transitions.  With their focus on communicating the story to the audience, this performance leaves no one wondering about the reality of Clara's amazing journey.

The Party Scene opens to a golden colored grand ballroom with a fire place to the right and a couch, clock and stairwell to the left.  Guests are seen arriving through the giant window in the back by the Christmas tree.  The long grey haired Drosselmeyer arrives dressed in a black cape, knickers, top hat, and his signature eye patch.  At the party, Drosselmeyer performs magic making a gift, wine glass and a tree ornament fly to his hands.  He makes Grandma appear from his gift bag and she begins dancing as if she were eighteen again.  He presents life-size dancing dolls: Chinese, Spanish and a Nutcracker Prince.  As the party ends, Fritz scares Clara with a dead rat that his father confiscates and throws into the fireplace.  The guests go home, the house goes dark and grandma bounces up the stairs energized by the liquor from the party.  The BalletMet's Party Scene is made even more spectacular by the dancing parents who perform spinning lifts, filling the stage with the swirling colors of their dresses.

BalletMet Nutcracker 3Clara sneaks down to the couch and is soon surrounded by furry long tailed mice sneaking in through the fireplace.  Drosselmeyer appears and magically makes the tree grow and the house transform into a castle.  Clara climbs the steps of the castle while the Nutcracker stands guard.  An exciting battle erupts between the dozen or so mice and a like number of soldiers dressed in blue and red.  Canon fire as the action swirls into a comical battle. The BalletMet Battle Scene is a masterpiece of fun that incorporates very well-dressed fuzzy mouse characters and a creative castle theme.

The snow scene opens to a field with trees with onion domed buildings in the background.  A corps of twelve Snowflakes fills the stage dressed in beautiful flowing mid-calf gowns.  The younger Clara of the Party Scene is swapped out for an older Clara in the Snow Scene who dances with the Nutcracker Prince surrounded by the swirling Snowflakes.

Act II opens with Angels crossing the stage in the dark of night and then escorting Clara and the Prince to the land of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  Once they arrive, Drosselmeyer describes the daring battle and the Sugar Plum Fairy rewards them with dances from many lands.    The highly talented corps of dances fills the stage with a garden of color during the Waltz of Flowers, followed by a spectacular pas de duex by the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier.  BalletMet incorporates many changes in Act II including; mixing the Cavalier and Sugar Plum Fairy solos within the divertissements; the incorporation of Clara and the Nutcracker in many of the dances , and that Drosselmeyer and his magic is a central theme throughout the Act including his re-telling of the story of the Battle Scene.

The BalletMet Nutcracker is really "Top Shelf" with so many amazingly talented corps of dancers; some of the most gifted in the nation.   On this opening night, the Grand pas de duex was simply spectacular showcasing the stylistic and graceful talents of Adrienne Benz and David Ward (Four different dance pairs rotate throughout the run of performances.). 

If you are in Columbus for the Holidays…whatever you do, go and see this spectacular performance by BalletMet at the Ohio Theater. 
On the web at: www.balletmet.org or by phone at: (619) 229-4848
 

 



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