Washington Ballet

 

Washington, D.C.  - The Washington Ballet

A Revolutionary Nutcracker

December 7, 2007 - By Brad Maxwell

There are moments in history that are remembered forever: George Washington crossing the Delaware to conquer the British; Betsy Ross sewing the first American flag, and Frederick Douglas communicating free rights. So what do you get if you combine our American history and culture with the extraordinary talents of The Washington Ballet? Zach-in-splitsA Revolutionary Ballet. A Revolutionary Nutcracker. A Nutcracker that mixes two parts talent with one part history and one part fun. It's a revolutionary blend of creativity and talent. Only available in our Capital City with The Washington Ballet.

The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker provides a gloriously enchanting evening of monumental fun. It's a national treasure worthy of the Smithsonian. Septime Webre creates a Nutcracker masterpiece, weaving the fabric of Washington life throughout the performance. The dancing is superb, the comedy is hilarious, and the patriotism is inspiring. The only thing that's missing is that it should be a stop on every Washington tour bus route. A holiday visit to Washington just isn't complete without seeing this ballet.

The Christmas Party, set in Georgetown, is filled with brilliant gowns of dazzling colors, regal coats and military uniforms. The guests include Frederic Douglas, an Ambassador, Prep School Boys, maids and butlers. Drosselmeyer arrives with a dancing John Paul Jones, Miss Liberty and Katchina Dolls. Fritz scares Clara with a dead rat which he flips through the air across the stage to be caught by the butler on a silver serving tray. The old grandfather, dressed in a Scottish Kilt, dances a revealing jig and then holds up some mistletoe to entice young ladies to kiss each cheek. The youngest boy, about six years old, tries the same with some young ladies his own age and is pleasantly greeted with a sweet double cheek kiss.

The Battle Scene has a historic feel to it with an army of little revolutionary soldiers battling the Red Coat Rats. The Rat King is dressed like The King Of England with a large gold robe and royal crown. The soldiers begin marching across the stage performing military drills and preparing for battle. The Nutcracker Prince, dressed as George Washington, finishes off the Mouse King and then is brought to life by Drosselmeyer.

The Snow Scene looks like a Washington greeting card with a soft snow falling next to the banks of the Potomac River under a ceiling of snow frosted trees. Twelve Snow Flake dancers in beautiful fairy-like fluffy blue costumes fill the stage and surround the Snow Queen (Elizabeth Gaither) and King (Jared Nelson). The Snow Queen and King are spectacular -- graceful and confident. As the snow falls, the Snow Flake dancers swirl and spin to a beautiful breathtaking choreography.

Act II opens to a stage surrounded by soft pink cherry blossoms and a journey of Americana fun.   Three couples dressed in yellow and orange leap and kick to the Spanish dance, followed by Chinese ribbon and parasol dancers who enter as a long parade fish.  Next, an Anacostia Indian couple perform a dance in loin clothes with slow and captivating lifts (danced to Arabian) followed by a Frontiersman and Frontier Girls dressed Crocket-like in forrest green outfits with fringe and raccoon fur caps (danced to Russian). Five beautiful red Cardinals take the stage and dance while a cute sneaky cat joins-in on the hunt (danced to Mirliton). Mother Barnum takes stage topping a large carousel with nine sweet little Clowns.

The Dew Drop (Diana Albretch) is joined by twelve Cherry Blossoms in a spectacular staging of the Waltz of Flowers highlighting The Dew Drop's music box-like solos. The Sugar Plum (Brianna Bland) and her Cavalier (Jonathan Jordan) carry on the nonstop super-talent of the Washington Ballet. Their performance is precise and flawless as they dance the grand pas de deux with a regal flair.

The Washington Ballet's Nutcracker is simply Revolutionary and demonstrates Septime Webre's brilliant Americana adaptation to our nationally loved Russian originated  Nutcracker Ballet.  
 

 



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