How was your experience?
Intimate venue with an outstanding sound system, and unfortunately did not have clear line of sight to stage right, so missed a few reactions of characters on the sidelines. Til now, I have only attended professional performances (5 or 6) with live orchestras, so at first this one suffered in comparison. I quickly realized, however, that this is the way most people see The Nutcracker -- the audience seemed to be mostly family of the dancers who applauded enthusiastically for grandes jettes or extended pirouettes, and the performers were clearly enjoying the challenge and exhilaration of being on stage. While the younger dancers had a bit of trouble with timing in the party scene or the Mouse Battle, the result was slightly chaotic but thoroughly charming. Clara was quite good with precise, clean footwork and lovely extension. One of the corps dancers had breath-taking port des bras which she executed with a satisfying snaps of the wrist, placing her hands exactly where she wanted every time, right in the center of the beat. Principal dancers were all experienced professionals who gave respectable performances; the sets and well-designed costumes enhanced the experience. I found myself warmed and elated by the joy of these performers, and impressed that they had incorporated rehearsals into lives busy with schoolwork, sports, family obligations and online demands to prepare this uniquely satisfying version of a well-loved classic.