The Nutcracker: Ballet San Jose's Unique Version of Classic Ballet
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The last date listed for The Nutcracker was Friday December 11, 2009 / 7:30pm.
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Famed ballet dancer Michael Lowe once compared his stage debut to his first football game. Today his… More
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Denise Gianelli
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The highlight had to have been the little rats- played by the San Jose boys ballet. They were unbelievably adorable. I wish they would have come out at the end to take a bow. The dancing as wonderful, the music was incredible. I will agree with another reviewer, it was sad to see that it was poorly attended. The seats we received through Goldstar were right in the center of the orchestra, and where perfect for watching the show!
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I enjoyed the show and found the Synopsis in the program extremely helpful in following the actions. The dancing was graceful and beautiful to watch (not try to duplicate) and the music played by a large orchestra,with some familiar melodies, madr...continued
Quotes & Highlights
“A masterful approach to storytelling…Ballet San Jose’s Nutcracker bubbles over with wit and charm.” —San Jose Mercury News
“Dennis Nahat’s colorful and cheerful version of the holiday classic is loaded with endearing details and a refreshingly logical scenario. Solid work from dancers in roles large and small really make this production sparkle.” —_San Francisco Chronicle _
“A sparkling, fun and elegant production.” —Ballet-Dance Magazine
Every holiday season_ The Nutcracker_ rolls around…or to be more accurate, many “Nutcrackers” roll around: professional companies, amateur groups, school productions, even Nutcrackers on ice. It can be a daunting task deciding which, if any, you want your family to see.
Where to begin?
Ballet San Jose’s Nutcracker begins with the story. Dennis Nahat’s charming presentation more closely follows the original story by ETA Hoffmann than do most. Each and every character in this lavish production is as detailed as the stunning scenery and costumes designed by David Guthrie. The party guests are distinctly individual and in full relationship with one another. The servants each have their own personalities and they are not afraid to express their opinions. The children are exactly as you would expect them to be at the holidays…always on the verge of losing control. It is a warm, embracing and elegantly human production.
The first act visits the Tannenbaum family’s annual party with presents, a Christmas tree and lots of good cheer. When godfather Drosselmeyer tells the children the tale of an enchanted nutcracker prince and the evil mouse king, Maria (the original name of the character of Clara) takes the message to heart. She later falls asleep in her father’s living room chair and dreams of an epic battle between magical armies, and the transformation of her wooden nutcracker into the handsome Prince Alexis…once the brave Maria saves him from near-certain death.
This is where Nahat’s scenario really takes flight. Maria and her Prince climb upon the back of a giant white snowbird and take off on a journey from country to country on their way to visit his native Muscovy. Along the way they stop in Spain, in Arabia and in China. There is no “Land of the Sweets” in Nahat’s second act. The couple spends little time watching the usual parade of dances from various countries. Instead they learn the dances of each country, they sample the foods, they meet and are greeted by kings and emperors, sultans and tsars. The dancing is continuous and filled with surprises, including a grand ball thrown in honor of the returning Prince by his happy parents. This “Nutcracker” is all grown up, with the child Maria on a journey of self-discovery, blossoming into a young woman right before our eyes.
The theater itself is a wonderland of surprises, replete with lavish lobby decorations, a boutique of ballet and holiday treasures, carolers, and characters from the show posing for photos with children and their families.
Dennis Nahat’s Nutcracker truly is a gift for the holidays…from Ballet San Jose to the child in every one of us.